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FLIGHTLAB Development Software

FLIGHTLAB is a commercial software product created to facilitate the development and utilization of flight vehicle dynamics models in simulation applications.


The FLIGHTLAB Development System is a computer aided engineering software tool to support modeling and analysis of flight dynamics.
FLIGHTLAB, a software development environment to support modeling of dynamic systems from a predefined library of physically based modeling components. Each component is an independent dynamic element such as a spring, a damper, an airfoil section, etc. These components can be interconnected in arbitrary architectures to model any desired dynamic system and the parameters of the components can be assigned vehicle-specific values, allowing a wide range of complex models to be built from a common library of modeling components that have been pre-derived, programmed and tested for reliability. A numerical Multi-Body Dynamics solution approach was developed to support robust solution of the coupled nonlinear implicit d iffer ential eq uatio ns pro d uced b y interconnecting these dynamic elements. FLIGHTLAB includes graphical user interfaces to facilitate modeling and analysis, and code generation capability to allow FLIGHTLAB models to be interfaced with user applications and run independently of the Development System.



Simulation Engineers Aircraft Design & Test Engineers Systems Engineers Avionics Engineers Virtual Reality Simulation Designers

Methodology The user focuses on interconnecting components and assigning data to represent the aircrafts design and the built-in component equations and numeric solution process ensure the generation of software that properly models the dynamics of the aircraft. Analysis FLIGHTLAB includes a number of
predefined primitive analysis utilities to support engineering evaluation of the modeled system. Utilities support trim, static equilibrium, and time and frequency response. Also included is a simulation of the performance and dynamic response tests applied to an aircraft during flight.

Modeling Component Library

FLIGHTLAB includes a library of modeling components to facilitate the development of flight dynamics models. The classes of components include aerodynamic, control, structure, and propulsion components. These components can be arbitrarily connected in any desired architecture to model dynamic systems. The parameter fields of these components may then be assigned aircraft-specific data to produce the proper dynamic response for the required aircraft.

FLIGHTLAB Real-Time Support ART enhanced the FLIGHTLAB

Development System with a number of features to facilitate real time operation. In order to facilitate integration with other software required to support a simulator, a shared memory interface was added that allows the users to select the interface data required for their simulator and place it in a shared memory array for access by other applications. Once a model has been developed in FLIGHTLAB it may be code-generated to produce an object library that can be run independently of the Development System on any desired computer.

ART also produces Models using FLIGHTLAB at any fidelity for sale to customers. In addition, if you need a R&D or Training simulator, we develop turn-key systems up to Level D certification standards.

Graphical User Interfaces

ART has developed a library of system templates that consist of predefined scripts that utilize the FLIGHTLAB modeling components to model standard configurations for rotorcraft systems such as airframes, rotors, and engines.


Editor (FLME) provides predefined scripts that model the most commonly used architectures for rotorcraft systems such as rotors, airframes, propulsion systems, etc. The model developer simply selects the desired modeling options at each level of the graphically depicted rotorcraft subsystem hierarchy and he is presented with a dialog box requesting data values for all parameters required by his selected options.

Control System Graphical Editor

The Control System Graphical Editor (CSGE) provides the arbitrary architecture capability required to model control systems, which are not amenable to selection from predefined architectures. The developer selects icons representing the desired control elements and interconnects them in a schematic diagram of the control system using a point and click, drag and drop GUI. Dialog boxes allow parameter values to be assigned for each component.

Xanalysis provides an analysis GUI to facilitate performing predefined analyses of a selected model from a set of pull-down and
pop-up menus. This GUI supports selecting the model to be run, initializing the model to a desired condition, trimming the controls to maintain the desired condition, and performing a wide range of performance, stability, and handling qualities tests, including those defined by the Navy Test Pilot School for helicopter flight testing.

FLIGHTLAB Analysis Fan Plot

FLIGHTLAB Analysis Performance & Stability

Advanced Rotorcraft Technology, Inc.

Advanced Rotorcraft Technology, Inc.

Open Architecture

FLIGHTLABs library of components and analysis utilities and FLIGHTLABs graphical user interfaces may all be modified by the user to customize FLIGHTLAB to their applications.

A Pilot Interface for FLIGHTLAB Flight Dynamics Models

PilotStation provides a pilot interface for flight dynamics models developed and run in the FLIGHTLAB Development System. Unlike SIMphony, which provides a run-time environment for Stand-alone FLIGHTLAB models, PilotStation uses the model in the FLIGHTLAB Development System, allowing complete interaction with the model from the Model Editor and X-analysis while flying the model. PilotStation is accessed from the Simulation Menu in X-analysis and provides an out-the-window display, a Head-up display, and an instrument display. The computer must have an OpenGL compatible graphics card. PilotStation also provides an interface to the flight dynamics model for most USB joysticks, allowing the user to control cyclic, collective and pedals.

Operator Controls For PilotStation

The Simulation Menu in X-analysis has a Run function that brings up an operator console. The operator console has a Fly button that cycles the flight dynamics model as a background process in real time, synchronized to the Linux interval timer. A Pause button freezes the model at the current flight condition. The user may interact with the model through the Scope command line or the X-analysis menu options while the model Is running or paused, although this may impact real time operations while the model is running. A Record option on the simulation Menu allows the user to select data for recording and plot the resulting time histories.

Display and Joystick Interface Out-The-Window and Instrument Displays

PilotStation includes an integral image generation utility that supports rendering of OpenFlight files for out-the-window displays, instrument displays, and external view displays. It uses graphics accelerator cards that support OpenGL. The development system software communicates with the image generation software through a Common Image Generation Interface (CIGI) protocol, so the user may substitute any CIGI compliant Image Generator if desired. PilotStation comes with a generic terrain data base and a generic instrument panel display for demonstration purposes. An NVida or compatible graphics card is recommended to drive the visual displays. A three axis joystick with discrete switches and a USB interface, such as the Microsoft Sidewinder, is recommended to provide a flight control capability.

Development System and PilotStation

PilotStation is intended to support real time pilot interaction with a FLIGHTLAB model in the Development System. The Development System is not suitable for real time interaction with an external simulator, however, since it does not support remote process control, external handshaking, or external time synchronization. Stand-alone models generated from the FLIGHTLAB Development System are designed to have these capabilities and the SIMphony product is a real time driver and operator console for FLIGHTLAB Stand-alone models. SIMphony also includes out-the-window and instrument displays and a joystick interface to support desktop simulation with a stand-alone model for purposes of facilitating simulator integration.

Specifications are subject to change without notice

Advanced Rotorcraft Technology, Inc. 635 Vaqueros Avenue Sunnyvale, CA 94085 Tel. +1.408.523.5100 www.flightlab.com
FLIGHTLAB and PilotStation are registered trademarks of Advanced Rotorcraft Technology, Inc. All rights reserved.