New Approaches to Motion Cuing in Flight Simulators

Brown, Y.J., Cardullo, F.M., McMillan, G.R., Riccio, G.E., & Sinacori, J.B. (1991). New approaches to motion cuing in flight simulation. Technical Report AL-TR-1991-0139, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH: Armstrong Laboratory.

A multifaceted program of research and development was initiated at Wright-Patterson AFB in the 1980s to provide an unprecedented breadth of understanding of flight simulation. Motivated by this de-fragmentation of thought leadership, a study was conducted to investigate new approaches in motion simulation. The study developed a conceptual model of pilot control of an aircraft. This model was subsequently used in a "need-based" analysis of motion cuing devices. This analysis technique involved a frequency domain representation of aircraft maneuvers, pilot perception of these maneuvers and pilot perception of the cues from various simulator cuing devices. The analysis led to an assessment founded upon principles of pilot perception and behavior.

A task analysis was performed on a pop up attack in an F-4 aircraft to generate the aircraft maneuver time histories and pilot cue matrix. The results of this task analysis were used in a frequency domain analysis to determine the value of cuing devices for particular portions of the maneuver. The study investigated various cuing techniques beginning with proposed optimization of existing devices and proceeding to discuss several new techniques such as vibromyesthetic stimulation and direct electrical stimulation of nerves and muscles. The report concludes with recommendations for (1) future work employing the newly developed analytical technique and (2) experimentation with selected new devices to determine their cuing value.

Insights from this study led to a fundamentally different approach to research on flight simulation that had ramifications far beyond this domain of application to a variety of scientific disciplines and to applications in bioastronautics and behavioral neurology.

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Gary Riccio

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