Sunday, November 30, 2014

SIMONA Research Flight Simulator

Last week we had a short visit to the SIMONA Research Simulator of Delft University of Technology with Mike Jones. He used to work with SIMONA team for ARISTOTEL project while he was in University of Liverpool. While he was visiting his old colleagues, I attended him to see the SIMONA facility and meet the SIMONA researchers. It was an exciting visit for me as a researcher working for possibly the newest research simulator facility AVES, to see SIMONA where a huge amount flight simulator research has been carried out in the last 15 years.  
Research simulators are used to various purposes but mainly to conduct flight sciences and flight systems research including new aircraft configurations, new flight systems and HMI concepts, and flight simulator research.  Following the publications, one can figure out that SIMONA has been constructed starting from late 90's to early 2000's by TU Delft researchers, by themselves. This includes all the structure to motion system, cockpit to all software components. To my understanding, this construction experience provided SIMONA researchers with a unique opportunity to identify and research into the problems of flight simulators. Thus SIMONA researchers contributed various aspect in flight simulator research including real time simulation, motion cueing and simulator validation. 
I had the chance to meet Deniz Yilmaz, Olaf Stroosma and Marilena D. Bos-Pavel. We had a very nice conversation about various aspects of SIMONA. One of the interesting topics was SIMONA real time simulation framework DUECA (Delft University Environment for Communication and Activation). In AVES, we have a similar infrastructure that we call 2Simulate. We discussed our practices how we support current model based simulation engineering practices with our real time frameworks. Another exciting discussion was about tuning and validating simulation cues (basically motion) with subjective pilot assessments. The objective criteria for most of the cueing channels in training simulators are still not enough to identify the fidelity level to guarantee transfer of training while subjective assessments, for sure, possesses a great variation depending on the evaluator. So the training simulators still ask for beyond state of the art approaches to validation.
It was a great occasion for me to see SIMONA  and meet very nice people and have invaluable discussions over our research interests. With this blog post, I would like to thank Deniz, Olaf and Marilena hosting us.