A primary goal of the VSFS is to provide postgraduate, PhD and Masters Students with a suitable research platform. The simulator provides students with a rare opportunity to work on all aspects of a physical flight simulator. Simulation is an increasingly important and demanding field, making this project within the School of AMME very exclusive.
The potential has not been missed, with companies such as CAE and Qantas providing support and showing interest in the project.
Teaching and Learning Effectiveness
The VSFS is currently used as an educational tool in the undergraduate aeronautical engineering degree at the university. The effectiveness of this part of the degree forms a significant area of research, with two major outcomes assessed.
The first is the ability of the simulator to enhance student understanding in the flight mechanics course in the third year of study. Students take part in a simulation week where they fly the simulator while basic aerodynamic coefficients are varied to emphasise their effect.
The second is to examine the effectiveness of building software and functionality into the simulator, such as aircraft models, controllers, processes and plugins. This concerns thesis and more advanced students who will actually improve the simulator or test their own controllers.
Visual Systems for Guidance and Control
Using simulator software and control law, current research is being conducted into the use of visual systems for aircraft guidance and control. This involves the use of algorithms to analyse aircraft trajectory in flight in real-time and testing the results in the simulator. Guidance and control laws can be developed through the use of the simulator to simulate “flight test” conditions.