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Flight test of a displacement sidearm controllerA six-axis displacement-stick sidearm controller was developed to enable single-handed control of remote manipulator operations in space. With a working model available, piloted evaluation became possible in a fly-by-computer variable-stability research aircraft, originally a Bell 205 helicopter. The original mechanization was limited to three rotational axes and a linear one, analogous to the collective stick. A newly designed short stickgrip was mounted and the spring force pattern adjusted to suit the helicopter flight control environment. A standard set of test maneuvers was flown by four experimental pilots with conventional helicopter flight controls and with sidearm controllers equipped with two different handgrips. Existing data from flight tests with an isometric-stick controller were added to complete the comparison. The displacement controller consistently achieved a rating of 3.0 to 3.5 on the Cooper-Harper scale, on par with the conventional controls. The same basic controller design was tested in spacecraft and remote manipulator simulations with very promising results. In each application operator/system integration was rapid and positive. The results demonstrate feasibility and support the design philosphy of using deflection as well as force to generate proprioceptive feedback.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Lippay, A. L.
(CAE Electronics Ltd. Saint Laurent Quebec, Canada)
Kruk, R.
(CAE Electronics Ltd. Saint Laurent Quebec, Canada)
King, M.
(CAE Electronics Ltd. Saint Laurent Quebec, Canada)
Morgan, M.
(National Aeronautical Establishment Ottawa (Ontario), United States)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2013
Publication Date
May 1, 1986
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Ames Research Center 21st Annual Conference on Manual Control
Subject Category
Man/System Technology And Life Support
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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