Hackathon Proposal: Wake from multiplayer aircraft

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Title: Wake turbulence from AI & multiplayer aircraft

Wake turbulence of an F-16
Potential mentors: Bertrand Coconnier
Intro: (short intro)
Interested Parties: Brendan
Status: n/a
Summary: Add wake turbulence interaction with AI and multiplayer aircraft
Background: AI wake turbulence is a feature of FlightGear since release 2017.3.1.

However the feature is still in a preliminary stage since it is limited to:

  • JSBSim aircraft that have been modified for that (only Cessna C172 at the moment).
  • Heavy AI aircraft (mainly the fuel tanker)
Details: Wake turbulence This is a link to a Wikipedia article is especially hazardous in the region behind an aircraft in the takeoff or landing phases of flight. In the vicinity of an airport there can be multiple aircraft, all operating at low speed and low altitude, and this provides extra risk of wake turbulence with reduced height from which to recover from any upset. Regulations enforce separation between aircraft especially if they are of different size to avoid uncommanded aircraft movements or, worse, loss of control. Having this feature therefore brings some educational value that you should not fly too close of an heavy.

Wake turbulence is also a major factor to account for when flying in formation or when proceeding to refueling with a tanker. In both cases, the feature adds some realism to the maneuver.

The AI wake turbulence feature is designed to simulate that interaction. But it is still a preliminary feature:

  • Multiplayer aircraft do not generate wake turbulence
  • Most AI aircraft do not generate wake turbulence
  • Most JSBSim aircraft do not react to wake turbulence
  • YASim aircraft does not react to wake turbulence
  • Jet engines and propellers do not generate turbulence
  • The computation model for wake turbulence is quite simplistic

That feature can be improved by:

  • Updating the AI aircraft performance database (easy/very few programming skills)
  • Updating JSBSim aircraft models to react to wake turbulence (easy/XML programming skills)
  • Tweaking the turbulence model (fair/C++ programming skills)
  • Developing a means to gather performance data and attitude/position/velocity of multiplayer aircraft to feed the wake turbulence model (fair/C++ programming skills)
  • Adding the feature to YASim (hard/familiarity with YASim/C++ programming skills)
  • Improving the wake turbulence simulation (hard/basic aerodynamics/C++ programming skills)
  • Being coupled with the weather system ?
  • The creativity of the participants: the sky is the limit !!!.

Most of all, this will require much testing of the feature, especially if the multiplayer interaction is added, which should be fun !

Required skills: XML, C++
Learning Opportunities:

Notes: https://sourceforge.net/p/flightgear/mailman/flightgear-devel/thread/CAHpp8MGjJ%2Bcs70fVuuVrXDnmxMXxo8fiYFq9F3FFc-FaZXT7uA%40mail.gmail.com/#msg35763857