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The use of vestibular models for design and evaluation of flight simulator motionQuantitative models for the dynamics of the human vestibular system are applied to the design and evaluation of flight simulator platform motion. An optimal simulator motion control algorithm is generated to minimize the vector difference between perceived spatial orientation estimated in flight and in simulation. The motion controller has been implemented on the Vertical Motion Simulator at NASA Ames Research Center and evaluated experimentally through measurement of pilot performance and subjective rating during VTOL aircraft simulation. In general, pilot performance in a longitudinal tracking task (formation flight) did not appear to be sensitive to variations in platform motion condition as long as motion was present. However, pilot assessment of motion fidelity by means of a rating scale designed for this purpose, were sensitive to motion controller design. Platform motion generated with the optimal motion controller was found to be generally equivalent to that generated by conventional linear crossfeed washout. The vestibular models are used to evaluate the motion fidelity of transport category aircraft (Boeing 727) simulation in a pilot performance and simulator acceptability study at the Man-Vehicle Systems Research Facility at NASA Ames Research Center. Eighteen airline pilots, currently flying B-727, were given a series of flight scenarios in the simulator under various conditions of simulator motion. The scenarios were chosen to reflect the flight maneuvers that these pilots might expect to be given during a routine pilot proficiency check. Pilot performance and subjective rating of simulator fidelity was relatively insensitive to the motion condition, despite large differences in the amplitude of motion provided. This lack of sensitivity may be explained by means of the vestibular models, which predict little difference in the modeled motion sensations of the pilots when different motion conditions are imposed.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Bussolari, Steven R. (Massachusetts Inst. of Tech. Cambridge, MA, United States)
Young, Laurence R. (MIT Cambridge, MA, United States)
Lee, Alfred T. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 14, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1989
Subject Category
Report/Patent Number
AIAA PAPER 89-3274
Meeting Information
AIAA Flight Simulation Technologies Conference and Exhibit(Boston, MA)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits