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Teaching Automobile, Flight And System Dynamics Using Innovative Motion Simulation Experiments

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1168.1 - 15.1168.15



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Paper Authors

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Kemper Lewis State University of New York, Buffalo

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Kevin Hulme State University of New York, Buffalo

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Edward Kasprzak Milliken Research Associates

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Deborah Moore-Russo State University of New York, Buffalo

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Puneet Singla State University of New York, Buffalo

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Kenneth English State University of New York, Buffalo

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Teaching Automobile, Flight, and System Dynamics Using Innovative Motion Simulation Experiments


This paper discusses the design and extension of a set of motion simulation experiments and their subsequent incorporation into an innovative framework to teach engineering systems analysis and flight dynamics, including topics such as system control, stability, feedback, and design. These are fundamental concepts at the core of many engineering systems including mechanical, aerospace, electrical, thermal, and fluid systems. Many engineers are increasingly turning to simulation and virtual prototyping, rather than physical prototyping, to explore new design concepts. As the use of simulation increases across all of engineering, the demand for students with hands-on experience in configuring, executing, and understanding simulation- based experimentation will also increase. In this paper, we present the results from integrating experience-based system simulation modules into a series of vehicle dynamics courses. We also present experiential modules to integrate the motion simulation system into a required junior- level mechanical engineering course and in a required senior-level flight dynamics aerospace engineering course. This paper reports on work done under National Science Foundation grant DUE-0633596 in the Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) program.

1 Background and Motivation: Cyber-enhanced Education

In engineering education, relating theoretical and analytical results to real-world phenomena is one of the most difficult tasks. While text, equations, diagrams, and graphs are an efficient means of presenting large amounts of information, such representations are, necessarily, abstractions of reality. A significant portion of a student’s learning process is learning how to transform these abstractions into knowledge that will allow them to apply their understanding to real-world products and systems. Many attempts to bridge this gap are employed by educators, including in-class demonstrations, laboratory experiments, videos, and computer graphic simulations1-4.

In a study of the application of information technology to education, the President’s Information Technology Advisory Council5 recommended the development of technologies for education and training that use simulation, visualization, and gaming to actively engage students in the learning experience. In the same report, PITAC also recommended the development of educational experiences that provide learners with “access to world-class facilities and experiences using either actual or simulated devices”. The benefits of imitating a real process by way of simulation cannot be understated. The educational value of simulations does not necessarily lie in the program itself, but rather, in the overall experience of the simulation6.

Using a simulated digital environment to supplement traditional instruction is not a new concept. Early attempts to understand the role of digital environments in workplace instruction demonstrated the potential of computer simulations acting as a cognitive apprentice7. The use of virtual laboratory environments to replace or supplement physical experiments in engineering education emerged soon after that. Virtual laboratory experiments were created to supplement the physical laboratories to teach various electronics and circuitry concepts8. Both quantitative

Lewis, K., & Hulme, K., & Kasprzak, E., & Moore-Russo, D., & Singla, P., & English, K. (2010, June), Teaching Automobile, Flight And System Dynamics Using Innovative Motion Simulation Experiments Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16641

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