Attaching motor actuators to platform
Our chapter’s student member “Sim Team” is featured in the August 2020 issue of Sport Aviation published by EAA national. The story, written by EAA staff writer Beth Stanton, is entitled “All Online” and begins on page 14. It describes the accomplishments of chapter members Anthony Moreno (age 14), Kevin Treehan (14) and Hannah Treehan (16) in building FlightSim One, a static flight simulator pod, with direction from tech counselor Dan Masys. The article also outlines the team’s plans for FlightSim Two, a motion simulator that will use a 3-D Virtual Reality headset and the just-released Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 to provide movement cues to a sit-on-top motion platform that pitches and rolls in response to pilot inputs, and creates the ‘somatogravic’ illusion of acceleration and deceleration.
Sim team members Anthony, Hannah and Kevin
build Sim2’s computer from components
A milestone was reached on Sunday, August
15th when the Sim team connected the motion actuator units (which are powered by 24 volt electric scooter motors driving go-kart sprockets) to the mobile platform via pushrods.
And like a mechanical bull, the platform came to life for the first time! Testing of software control of the actuators is now in progress. The Sim Team has also built a high power special purpose computer specifically designed to drive a Virtual Reality display, with a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) capable of computing 6.5 TeraFlops – over 6 trillion floating point operations per second, about the same as a processor in a 2004 Cray X1 supercomputer. This processing power enables rendering of complex 3-D images at more than 140 frames per second, for very smooth photorealistic motion pictures. It looks like Sim2 is going to be a very engaging sensory experience as a flight simulator!
The Sim Team’s progress is being updated regularly online. Just click on the Sim Project link.