MAIN RESEARCH AREAS
The Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) Department at WVU operates a MOTUS 622i 6 degrees-of-freedom (DOF) motion based flight simulator for both research and teaching purposes. A comprehensive effort has been made by FCSL to interface the simulator with Simulink-based nonlinear mathematical models for various aircraft. This capability enables FCSL researchers to use the simulator as a valuable research platform for studying pilot behavior and evaluating flight control laws.
Detection schemes for pilot fatigue have been developed within a recent project using dynamic measurements as an alternative to using physiological measurements, which are inconvenient to be implemented on-board. The approach is based on the basic concept that, while performing the same task under otherwise identical conditions, the dynamic signatures of the pilot/aircraft system are different depending on the pilot condition, “rested” or “tired”. Tests performed on the WVU 6 DOF flight simulator with pilots at two extreme levels of alertness were used to define parameters based on aircraft states and pilot input measurements that can serve as pilot fatigue detectors at steady state flight conditions. These parameters were computed using the statistics of the tracking errors, state and control time histories, and the Fourier transforms of the tracking errors.
A parallel effort is underway at FCSL to develop a state-of-the-art UAV ground station setup. Within this design, a safety pilot controls the aircraft during the takeoff and landing phases and monitors the safety of the aircraft throughout the flight. During the research portion of the flight, a research pilot sits inside a simulated cockpit and controls the aircraft with information provided by the nose camera video feed, a synthetic vision interface, and a full set of instrumentation displays. This feature would give FCSL capabilities for evaluating pilot-controller interaction under a realistic physical testing environment.
Sagoo, G. K., Gururajan, S., Seanor, B., Napolitano, M.R., Perhinschi, M.G., Gu, Y., Campa, G., "Evaluation of a Fault Tolerant Scheme in a 6-DOF Motion Flight Simulator", AIAA Journal of Aerospace Computing, Information and Communication, doi: 10.2514/1.42299, Vol. 7, No. 2, 2010.
Sagoo, G.K., Gururajan, S., Napolitano, M.R., Perhinschi, M.G., Gu, Y., Seanor, B., and Campa, G., “Pilot-in-the-Loop Assessment of Neurally Augmented Dynamic Inversion Based Fault Tolerant Control Laws in a Motion-Based Flight Simulator,” 2008 AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference, AIAA 2008-6843, Honolulu, Hawaii, August 2008.