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Using A Low Cost Flight Simulation Environment For Interdisciplinary Education

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Innovative Teaching in Engineering/Technology II

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1365.1 - 9.1365.8



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Paper Authors

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Syed Ali

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Marcia Rossi

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M. Javed Khan

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


Using a Low Cost Flight Simulation Environment for Interdisciplinary Education

M. Javed Khan, Marcia Rossi, Syed F. Ali Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL 36088

Abstract A multi-disciplinary/inter-disciplinary education is increasingly being emphasized for engineering undergraduates. However, often the focus is on interaction between engineering disciplines. This paper discusses the experience at Tuskegee University in providing inter-disciplinary research experiences for undergraduate students in both Aerospace Engineering and Psychology through the utilization of a low cost flight simulation environment. The environment, which is pc-based, runs an off-the shelf software and is configured for multiple out-of- the-window views and a synthetic heads down display with joystick, rudder and throttle controls. While the environment is being utilized to investigate and evaluate various strategies for training novice pilots, students were involved to provide them with experience in conducting such interdisciplinary research. On the inter-disciplinary level these experiences included developing experimental designs and research protocols, consideration of human participant ethical issues, and planning and executing the research studies. During the planning phase students were apprised of the limitations of the software in its basic form and the enhancements desired to investigate human factors issues. A number of enhancements to the flight environment were then undertaken, from creating Excel macros for determining the performance of the ‘pilots’, to interacting with the software to provide various standardized flight conditions based on the experimental protocol. These enhancements involved understanding the flight model and performance, stability & control issues. Throughout this process, discussions of data analysis included a focus from a human factors perspective as well as an engineering point of view.

Introduction The ‘Programs Outcomes and Assessment’ detailed in Criterion 3 of the ABET2000 document [1] for accreditation of engineering programs is a template for educating well-rounded engineers. This criterion arises from an awareness of the need for today’s graduates to have skills for success and competitiveness in a global and highly interactive work environment. In order to fulfill the requirements of this criterion, educators are now consciously designing and delivering their educational materials [2].

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Ali, S., & Rossi, M., & Khan, M. J. (2004, June), Using A Low Cost Flight Simulation Environment For Interdisciplinary Education Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13037

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