Professional and educational FlightGear users

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FlightGear is used by dozens of organisations, companies and universities all over the world.

Companies

  • Aeronautical Development Agency, Bangalore India. FlightGear is used as as the image generator for a flight simulation facility for piloted evaluation of ski-jump launch and arrested recovery of a fighter aircraft from an aircraft carrier.
  • Veridian Engineering Division, Buffalo, NY. FlightGear is used for the scenery and out-the-window view for the Genesis 3000 flight simulator.
  • MathWorks provides the Aerospace Blockset libraries for interfacing FlightGear to their Simulink software.
  • NASA/Ames Human Centered System Lab - 737NG full scale cockpit simulator developed by LFS Technologies. FlightGear provides visuals for four large screen wrap around displays, improved turbo-fan math models, detailed fuel system models, and extendable network interface to cockpit displays and electronics. [1]
  • FlightGear was used by Pragolet s.r.o. in a motion platform based flight simulator of light and ultra-light sports aircraft. [2]
  • ATC Flight Simulator Company builds FAA approved flight simulators, that use FlightGear for the visuals.[3]
  • ActiveFly has a worldwide unique paragliding simulator. FlightGear is used to provide the visuals. "In order to make practicing with the ActiveFly Simulator as realistic as possible, the harness as well as the risers and brakes are suspended below a frame in such a way that they can be operated"[4]
  • FlightGear was used to give a 3D visualiziation of a simulation by Robert Heffley Engineering. The simulation was used to examine the use of a Task-Pilot-Vehicle (TPV) model as a tool for flight simulator math model development.[5]
  • Dutch roadable autogyro manufacturer PAL-V Europe NV uses FlightGear to provide the visuals and terrain data for their simulator. The simulator is currently used to prepare the test pilot and evaluate design options, but may be used to train customers in the future.[6]
  • The Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics of Germany uses FlightGear in several simulation environments:
    • HeliLab[7]
    • MPI CyberMotion Simulator [8]
  • The West Virginia based Institute for Scientific Research used FlightGear to perform simulated flight testing of the avionics and control system of a small autonomous UAV.[9]

ARINC

Todd Moyer of Aeronautical Radio, Incorporated (ARINC) used FlightGear as part of an effort to test and evaluate Flight Management Computer avionics and the corresponding ground systems. Certain capabilities of the Flight Management Computer are only available when airborne, which is determined by the FMC according to data it receives from GPS and INS sensors.

They wrote additional software that translates the NMEA output of FlightGear (including latitude, longitude, and altitude) into the ARINC 429 data words used by GPS and INS sensors. These data words are fed to the Flight Management Computer. the position information from FlightGear is realistic enough to convince the FMC that it is actually airborne, and allows ARINC to test entire `flights' with the avionics.

RWTH Aachen research simulator

The Institute of Aerospace Engineering at the RWTH Aachen is using FlightGear to drive the cockpit and the visuals of a general aviation simulator for training and research purpose. Micro Air Vehicles are being implemented by MATLAB/Simulink flight dynamics models; all I/O-related tasks, be they required by FDM, controls or instruments, are connected over network, using FlightGear native interfaces. [10]

Endless Runway Project

The Endless Runway Project is a consortium of aerospace instutes from France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain. "The fundamental principle of The Endless Runway is that the aircraft take-off and land on a large circular structure. This will allow for the unique characteristic that the runway can be used in any wind direction, thus making the runway independent of the direction of the wind and therefore also the airport capacity independent of the wind direction."[11]

FlightGear and JSBSim were extensively used to simulate the landing and take-off performance of large aircraft on a circular runway. By using FlightGear, the consortium was able to select the radius, width and curvature of the runway.

More information and documents can be found at endlessrunway-project.eu

Universities

Africa

  • The Military Technical College in Egypt developed a virtual lab with MATLAB and FlightGear. "It can be used easily by students to study and visualize classical control principles using FlightGear and MATLAB GUI with an attractive case study of a flight control system."[12]

Asia

  • The Department of Aircraft and Aeroengine from the Chinese Air Force Engineering University conducted a study on a new airworthiness compliance verification method based on pilot-aircraft-environment complex system simulation.[13]
  • The Malaysian Universiti Teknologi Malaysia uses FlightGear for several projects.[14]
  • The Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics in China made a 3D surface movement simulation system for A-SMGCS with FlightGear. The system displays ADS-B data in FlightGear through the multiplayer system and accurately predicts the aircraft's and/or vehicle's attitude (this is absent in ADS-B).[15]

Europe

  • The University of Naples, Italy used FlightGear in a six degrees of freedom (6dof) motion simulator, serving as a research and training tool.[16]
  • The Intelligent Robotics Group at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK is using FlightGear as part of their aerobot research[17] to design aerial vehicles that can operate in the atmosphere of other planets.
  • The Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands used FlightGear for their ICE project. The goal was to design, test, and evaluate computational techniques that can be used in the development of intelligent situation-aware crew assistance systems. Using methods from artificial intelligence, ICE focused primarily on the data fusion, data processing and reasoning part of these systems. [18][19][20]
  • The German based Hamburg University of Applied Sciences used JSBSim and FlightGear to evaluate the handling qualities of a box wing aircraft.[21]
  • For studentproject Daedalus, the Technical University of München uses FlightGear to optimize the flight characteristics of a zeppelin as well to simulate its performance. Another goal is to simulate prerecorded flights from a real model for further analysis. [22]
  • The Czech Technical University in Prague is working on a full motion simulator to do research on situation awareness. They're using FlightGear for the visuals. A video of the simulator can be seen at YouTube. More info at http://measure.feld.cvut.cz/en/cast
  • French Aerospace Lab (ONERA) and University of Toulouse, France (2004). A thesis student Frédéric Dehais has used FlightGear and developed a cognitive counter-measures experimental environment (p.119 and following) to show the pilot/ATC scheme could be formalized and enhanced to avoid cognitive perturbation. Use of Atlas and Onera Messenger. Over 22 real-life pilots have been testing this environment.[23]
  • Pázmány Péter Catholic University and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences developed a collision avoidance system for UAVs using visual detection. The system was simulated with FlightGear serving the visuals.[24]
  • The University of Sheffield, England, modeled and simulated a small UAV in FlightGear and JSBSim. The report describes the whole process of creating an UAV for use in FlightGear.[25]

North-America

  • University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. FlightGear is providing a platform for icing research for the Smart Icing Systems Project. [26]
  • Simon Fraser University, British Columbia Canada. Portions of FlightGear were used in simulation to develop the needed control algorithms for an autonomous aerial vehicle.
  • Iowa State University. A senior project intended to retrofit some older sim hardware with FlightGear based software.
  • University of Minnesota - Human Factors Research Lab. FlightGear brings new life to an old Agwagon single seat, single engine simulator.
  • FlightGear is being used as the basic framework to provide the UTC Challenger Center (and hopefully other centers in the future) a low cost virtual reality computer simulation in the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Our simulation is using flightgear and JSBSim, specifically the shuttle module, to develop a shuttle landing simulator. Currently, we are trying to get to the point of at least contributing instructions on how to interface our virtual reality hardware with Flightgear back to the OS community.[27]
  • Department of Aerospace Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University used FlightGear primarly for its graphics engine, in advanced research programs in the areas of flight control design, advanced rotorcraft flight dynamics modeling, and near real-time acoustics simulation.[28]
  • A team of Northeastern University (Boston, USA) engineering students has developed a system that allows a pilot to fly a simulated airplane in FlightGear, using nothing more than his or her brainwaves.[29]
  • Arizona State University (USA) used a combination of engineering programmas (among which FlightGear) in its aerospace engineering program. The faculty shifted how they were teaching to put less focus on theory and more emphasis on simulation and visualization through the immediate use of engineering software. Students used those programms within MATLAB.[30]
  • A project by the University of Montreal and the University of Toulouse used FlightGear to visualize the effect of an active freedback system for pilot guidance assistance.[31]
  • The Center for Coastal & Ocean Mapping/Joint Hydrographic Center at the University of New Hampshire set up a ship simulator using FlightGear for the visuals.[32]
  • The University of Michigan used FlightGear to validate PID autopilot for unmanned aerial vehicles.[33]
  • FlightGear was used by the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies to simulate their first ornithopter (engine powered).[34] In 2010 the team made aviation history when their second ornithopter became the first human-powered ornithopter to make a sustained flight.[35]
  • Purdue University, Indiana visualized scenarios involving cyber attacks in FlightGear to demonstrate the vulnerabilities of current UAV autopilot systems.[36]

South-America

  • The Aeronautical Engineering University of Argentina uses FlightGear to display the outside view of their simulator. Pictures can be seen at http://gsdv.com.ar/fotos/20110528/index.html.
  • Brazilian Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais compared Microsoft Flight Simulator X to FlightGear for use in an UAV simulation. The authors concluded that, although the two sims were considerably close to each other, FlightGear is the better option for research, due to its flexible and open character and the higher frequency at which the simulation could run (independent of the visual frame rate).[37]

Home built applications

  • Team Viper built a 360 degrees roll and pitch simulator, that runs on FlightGear.[38]
  • John Wojnaroski's 747 cockpit is a long time project.[39]
References
  1. Human Centered System Labs, NASA
  2. Thöndel, Evžen (29 January 2009). Simulator of a Light and Ultra-Light Sport Aircraft. Pragolet.
  3. ATC Flight Simulator.
  4. ActiveFly.com
  5. Heffley R.K. (2-5 August 2010). Use of a Task-Pilot-Vehicle (TPV) Model as a Tool for Flight Simulator Math Model Development. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
  6. The PAL-V simulator.
  7. HeliLab (Tiled Display).
  8. Der MPI-CyberMotion-Simulator.
  9. Eric F. Sorton, Sonny Hammaker (September 2005). Simulated Flight Testing of an Autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Using FlightGear.
  10. http://www.dynamik.rwth-aachen.de/English/Simulators
  11. Aircraft aspects of the Endless Runway (30 September 2013). Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  12. Automatic control education using FlightGear and MATLAB based virtual lab (May 2012).
  13. XU Haojun, LIU Dongliang, XUE Yuan, ZHOU Li, MIN Guilong (12 January 2012). Airworthiness Compliance Verification Method Based on Simulation of Complex System. Chinese Journal of Aeronautics.
  14. http://www.youtube.com/user/isfarazi
  15. 3D simulation of A-SMGCS surface movement based on FlightGear (16 May 2012).
  16. Coiro, Domenico P.; De Marco, Agostino; Nicolosi, Fabrizio (2007). A 6DOF Flight Simulation Environment for General Aviation Aircraft with Control Loading Reproduction.
  17. Aerobot Research, Dave Barne
  18. Ehlert, Patrick (18 January 2005). The Intelligent Cockpit Environment (ICE) Project. TU Delft.
  19. Ehlert P.A.M., Mouthaan Q.M., Rothkrantz L.J.M. (November 2002). Recognising situations in a flight simulator environment. SCS Publishing House. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  20. Datcu Dragos (January 2003). The ICE Project. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  21. Caja R., Scholz D. (23 November 2012). Box Wing Flight Dynamics in the Stage of Conceptual Aircraft Design.
  22. Mach mit ! - daedalus.
  23. (fr) Dehais, Frédéric (21 June 2004). Modélisation des conflits dans l’activité de pilotage. University of Toulouse.
  24. Collision avoidance for UAV using visual detection.
  25. Modelling and Autonomous Flight Simulation of a Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (August 2006).
  26. http://www.aae.uiuc.edu/sis/mainpapers.html
  27. Ellis, Dawn. University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. FlightGear. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  28. A Multi-Disciplinary Rotorcraft Simulation Facility Composed of Commodity Components and Open Source Software. Department of Aerospace Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University.
  29. A brainy innovation takes flight. Northeastern University (31 May 2011).
  30. Arizona State Tries Practice over Theory in Engineering Education, Campus Technology
  31. Latorre-Costa P., Defay F., Saussi�é D. (13-16 August 2012). Preliminary Study of an Active Feedback System for Aircraft Guidance. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
  32. Spatially Aware Hand-held Devices and the Boat Simulator. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
  33. Duncan Miller (2011). Autonomous Vehicle Laboratory for Sense and Avoid Research and Hardware-in-the-Loop Simulations pdf). American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
  34. Project Ornithopter (2006). Flying the Ornithopter in FlightGear Flight Simulator html).
  35. Human-powered ornithopter becomes first ever to achieve sustained flight. University of Toronto (22 September 2010).
  36. Cyber Attack Vulnerabilities Analysis for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
  37. Analise Comparativa Entre Microsoft Flight Simulator E Flightgear Flight Simulator Em Testes Hardware-In-The-Loop.
  38. TheViper.
  39. http://www.flightgear.org/Projects/747-JW/