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Technical Reports

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The intention of this page to provide a place where people can publish their FlightGear-related technical reports. Such reports may include essays on technical issues within FlightGear, and reports on scientific experiments performed on/with FlightGear. Please note that technical reports are formal papers. They follow a proper structure and are not intended to be opened for editing.

For a more in-depth definition of technical reports, please follow this link.



Real-time UAV Visualization using a Flight Simulator

MECSE-9-2006: E.R. Price and G.K. Egan Department of Electrical & Computer Systems Engineering

Abstract—This paper describes a real-time visualization tool for a UAV based on Microsoft Flight Simulator. The tool display consists of a 3D simulation of the aircraft's position and orientation as well as a an instrument panel which displays flight parameters and alarms deemed most relevant by the pilot in the UAV’s various flight modes. The tool is intended bring some comfort to the pilot when the aircraft is beyond visual range. Index Terms—Flight simulator, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, Visualization

Note: while this report is not directly related to FlightGear itself, it does provide insight into a decision process that ultimately involved NOT to use FlightGear for the presented project

Full Report


A New Architecture for FlightGear Flight Simulator

AJ MacLeod, Ampere K. Hardraade, Michael Koehne, Steve Knoblock

Keyword(s): MVC architecture; FDM Server; FDM Instance; Client

Abstract: To continue improving existing features and add new ones, FlightGear must make better use of computing power. Preparing for the widespread adoption of multicore CPU architectures is an important step in FlightGear's development. Today, CPU clock rate has reached its peak. The old idea, that features can be added without regard to their effect on performance because computers will become ever faster, has ceased to hold. In addition, as more features are added, developers are inceasingly bumping up against existing limitations in the current FlightGear architecture. Now would be a good time to begin the process of restructuring FlightGear to address the above issues. This proposal decribes a new architecture for FlightGear, one which would greatly improve FlightGear's efficiency and flexibility by making extensive use of parallel processing. It is also hope that this new architecture will improve the quality of multiuser sessions, as well as providing a true support for the simulations of time-critical systems.

9 Pages

Full document: Media:New_FG_architecture.pdf (pdf)



Icing Scenarios with the Icing Encounter Flight Simulator

Glen A. Dimock,∗ Robert W. Deters,† and Michael S. Selig‡ Department of Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Abstract:As part of the Smart Icing System (SIS) project at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, the Icing Encounter Flight Simulator (IEFS) integrates various SIS components in a simulated aircraft icing environment. The IEFS combines a customized version of FlightGear, an open-source flight simulator, with a suite of SIS support software using multiple desktop PCs connected through a local area network. The resulting simulation integrates most SIS concepts for testing and demonstration purposes. To this end, two fictional but historically-motivated icing scenarios are used to illustrate the various SIS interventions capable of preventing icing events. Specifically, a tailplane stall event during a steep descent and a roll upset event during an emergency approach are considered. During each scenario, multiple SIS intervention points are examined.

Full Report



“FlightGear Multiplayer Engine : The development of a flightsimulator multiplayer engine for AI purposes”

Boogaard, Jeroen Otte

Technical Report DKS-02-05 / ICE 02 Keywords: ICE project, multiplayer, artificial intelligence, flightsimulator, flightgear, simgear

Mediamatics / Data and Knowledge Systems group Department of Information Technology and Systems Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands http://www.kbs.twi.tudelft.nl/Research/Projects/ICE/

Preface This thesis describes our research activities on the development of our Flight Simulator Multiplayer Engine (MPE, for short) at the Knowledge Based Systems (KBS) group of the Delft University of Technology. We developed the ‘FlightGear Multiplayer Engine’ for one of the projects of the KBS group, which is called the Intelligent Cockpit Environment (ICE) project.

Full Report

Determination of Planetary Meteorology from Aerobot Flight Sensors

Phil Summers, Dave Barnes, Andy Shaw Department of Computer Science

ABSTRACT:Airborne robots, or aerobots, are fast becoming potential experiment delivery and planetary analysis vehicles. With the current trend towards a faster, better, cheaper methodology, aerobots seem to offer significant advantages over rovers and other methods of planetary exploration. This paper describes work performed in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, as part of a PhD project, to examine potential methods that could be used to make an aerobot mission a realistic prospect.[...]


Icing Encounter Flight Simulator with an Integrated Smart Icing System

RobertW. Deters, Glen A. Dimock, and Michael S. Selig Department of Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Abstract:The Icing Encounter Flight Simulator is one part of the Smart Icing System project at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The goal of the Smart Icing System project is to develop technology necessary to improve the safety of aircraft flying in icing conditions. The icing simulator is used as a platform to integrate different components of the Smart Icing System and to test the effectiveness of the components. To create an Icing Encounter Flight Simulator, functionality and Smart Icing System components were added to the FlightGear flight simulator, an open source flight simulator available on the internet. A reconfigurable aircraft model, an autopilot, and an icing model were some of the functionality added to FlightGear. Smart Icing System components integrated into the simulator include the neural-network-based icing characterization, envelope protection system, ice protection system, and an Ice Management System enhanced glass cockpit. To ensure a real-time simulation, computationally extensive processes have been distributed over several computers linked together by a local network. A tailplane stall scenario and a roll upset scenario have been designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Smart Icing System components on a nonlinear aerodynamics model of a DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft in clean and iced conditions.

Full Report



Aerobot airdata measurement for planetary exploration

Emmanuel Geneste and Dave Barnes Department of Computer Science, University of Wales, Aberystwyth

Abstract:For those planets and moons that support an atmosphere (e.g. Mars, Venus, Titan and Jupiter), flying robots, or aerobots, are likely to provide a practical solution to the problem of extended planetary surface coverage for terrain mapping, and surface/sub-surface composition surveying. Not only could such devices be used for sub-orbital mapping of terrain regions, but they could be used also to transport and deploy science packages or even microrovers at different geographically separate land sites[...]

Full Report

Full Report