Asee peer logo

Development of a Virtual Reality Flight Simulator to Assist in the Design of Original Aircraft

Download Paper |

Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Aerospace Division Technical Session

Tagged Division

Aerospace

Page Count

18

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/30326

Download Count

29

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Dominic M. Halsmer P.E. Oral Roberts University

visit author page

Dr. Dominic M. Halsmer is a Professor of Engineering and former Dean of the College of Science and Engineering at Oral Roberts University. He has been teaching science and engineering courses there for 26 years, and is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Oklahoma. He received BS and MS Degrees in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Purdue University in 1985 and 1986, and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from UCLA in 1992. He received an MA Degree in Biblical Literature from Oral Roberts University in 2013. His current research interests involve the use if virtual reality for engineering education, the integration of faith and learning, contributions from the field of engineering to the current science/theology discussion, reverse engineering of complex natural systems, and the preparation of scientists and engineers for missions work within technical communities.

visit author page

biography

John A. Voth Oral Roberts University

visit author page

John Voth is a current senior mechanical engineering student at Oral Roberts University. He will pursue his PhD from the University of Minnesota after graduation.

visit author page

biography

Connor A. McCain Oral Roberts University

visit author page

Connor McCain is an undergraduate engineering student at Oral Roberts University.

visit author page

biography

Jordan David Reutter Oral Roberts University

visit author page

Jordan is Mechanical Engineering Student at Oral Roberts University Graduating in May 2018. He’s been involved with many projects such as The Hyperloop Competition and is currently interning with The Boeing Company. He was primarily involved with the design and manufacturing of Team Soar’s flight simulator serving as a design engineer.

visit author page

author page

Nathaniel Shay Frailey

author page

Matthew Samuelson

author page

David Ahrens Oral Roberts University

Download Paper |

Abstract

Development of a Virtual Reality Flight Simulator to Assist in the Design of Original Aircraft (Work in Progress)

The undergraduate engineering curriculum is extremely challenging, largely due to the complexity of the processes and concepts it introduces. One good way to handle this complexity and assist students in learning about the development of engineered products is by providing enhanced visualization of the processes and concepts involved. This has been recognized recently by several researchers who are attempting to harness state-of-the-art virtual reality experiences to improve the quality of engineering education. This has prompted one group to write, "Virtual reality has grown up. Once an exotic field of computer sciences, it is now an important topic for the engineers of tomorrow."1

The engineering research and development of a virtual reality flight simulator seems like a good way to engage undergraduate engineering students with the up-and-coming field of virtual reality. A multidisciplinary team of students at our university are pursuing this as their senior capstone design project. The completed system will serve as an addition to the engineering labs and assist future students with their design of original aircraft. With the help of a VIVE headset, the system will simulate the cockpit environment and faithfully respond to pilot control inputs. The pilot will be strapped into a seat to be rigidly mounted atop a Stewart platform, which will roughly simulate the dynamics of a student’s custom aircraft design.

This virtual reality aircraft motion simulator features several facets of engineering analysis that enhances engineering education, both for those developing the simulator, and for those who will use it in design. First, the geometry of the simulator will be mathematically analyzed and defined by the students, which will enable optimal geometries to be solved for to maximize certain ranges of motion. Then, the dynamics of the system will be simulated using MATLAB's Simulink technology. This technical application confirms the simulator's theoretical dynamic performance before the build process begins, verifying the ranges of motion from the students' mathematical analysis. Furthermore, structural analysis with ANSYS will be used to calculate the factor of safety of the system, which will help properly size the rotary actuators. This engineering analysis of the simulator will function to increase exposure to principles of aircraft design to both technical and non-technical students alike. The simulator is tailor-made to accompany our university's Aircraft Design course, in that it allows engineering students to create their custom airplane using XPlane and fly it on the simulator. This immediate, immersive feedback enriches the students' knowledge of aircraft design and increases interest in the topic. Additionally, the portable design of the simulator enables the system to serve as an exciting advertisement to pre-college students considering the world of STEM studies.

1. P. Hafner, V. Hafner, J. Ovtcharova, “Teaching Methodology for Virtual Reality: A Practical Course in Engineering Education,” Procedia Computer Science, Vol. 25, pp. 251-260, 2013.

Halsmer, D. M., & Voth, J. A., & McCain, C. A., & Reutter, J. D., & Frailey, N. S., & Samuelson, M., & Ahrens, D. (2018, June), Development of a Virtual Reality Flight Simulator to Assist in the Design of Original Aircraft Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30326

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2018 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015