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THE PROJECTOR Having the capability to produce

super rich detail is only half of the bat- tle. The next generation of projector is finding its way into the simulator, fur- ther enhancing what the pilot sees. Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) projectors worked well, but had poor luminance capabilities and required continuous maintenance. New Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS) projectors are changing the way pilots see their virtual world. These projectors are doing for simula- tion displays what High Definition and Blu-Ray have done to television. Companies such as Barco, Christie, JVC and others are now building high definition projectors

for simulation

and other specialized purposes taking full advantage of the capabilities with the new IG’s. Until recently, technical and regulatory issues limited their use to the fixed wing devices. They are

now slowly making their way into rotary-wing simulators and improving the training experience for the pilot. Another visual enhancement that

is showing promise is direct projection displays. Direct projection systems have not replaced the collimated dis- play systems currently in use, but it is hoped that methods to fully capitalize on the advantages of such systems will be developed and employed. However, only level B simulators and select Flight Training Devices (FTD) are exploiting the attributes of direct projection sys- tems. Presently, level C and D simula- tors are required by appendix 1 to FAA Advisory Circular 120-63 to use the collimated display (or equivalent). Collimated display systems remain the primary visual systems in nearly every commercial flight simulator because they provide very close to the same perspective for crewmembers regard- less of viewing position within the sim- ulator cockpit.

“SHE’S GOT LEGS” Another dramatic advancement in

synthetic flight devices is the introduc- tion of the electric motion base. Past simulators were supported by hydraulic powered legs providing nec- essary movement in each axis. The hydraulic legs require gallons of fluid under constant pressure allowing rapid response when commanded by the processed pilot input. To keep the fluid under pressure, large hydraulic pumps are required to run almost continuous- ly. These pumps require lots of energy to operate. While the hydraulic operat- ed systems have remained reliable and effective, they are expensive. Increased awareness of

the potential impact to

the environment has also helped expe- dite the development of

the electric

based motion system, since even a small failure would not only be cata- strophic to training, but could detri- mentally impact an eco-system. The result would be increased governmen- tal scrutiny, fines and even long term loss of revenue. The development and implemen-

Above: Hydraulic Simulator leg • Opposite: Electric Simulator leg • Photo: Casey Duke FEBRUARY 2012 32

tation of electric motion control has proven to be one the most significant improvements to occur in simulation in the past decade. Electric motion bases look very much like the hydraulic systems they replace, but there are no hydraulic lines, meaning no hydraulic pumps which remove the environmen- tally hazardous hydraulic fluid. Unlike hydraulic pressure which must remain constant even if the motion base is sta- ble, such as it is in cruise flight, the electric base only uses energy to posi- tion the platform to a desired position. Once the platform has achieved the desired position, electric power is removed until the computer com- mands the base move in reaction to pilot input, turbulence or some other cue as dictated by the scenario being played out in the simulator. The elec- tric motion system has revolutionized the full motion simulation for virtually every manufacturer.

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