SSAU scientists have created an unique simulator for pilots and drivers
Scientists of Samara State Aerospace University (SSAU) have created an unique mobile platform for the production of training and gaming simulators.
The platform prototype is basically a metal surface with area of about 1 sq. m. standing on the six supports. Due to movable supports, the platform can quickly and flexibly change its position in space, simulating, for example, the behaviour of an aircraft in the air or a vehicle on the road.
Such mobile platforms also known as the "Stewart platforms" became widespread in the world primarily as simulators for training of highly-qualified military pilots and drivers. However, because of design features, the cost of such platforms to simulators in Russia starts from 500 thousand roubles, that significantly limit their use in "civil" areas, including usual driver training schools.
SSAU scientists found an opportunity to reduce the cost of production of such products and greatly simplify their maintenance more than twofold. The uniqueness of Samara development is that for the first time pneumatic cylinders were applied successfully instead of hydraulics and electric motors, conventionally used as an actuator unit for the motion of supports of the movable platforms.
"It allows us not only to reduce the cost of production, but also to represent truly a sensation of motion, to complete work on the aircraft handling skills on the ground", - said Pavel Greshnyakov, SSAU postgraduate student. This "know-how" was developed at SSAU Department of Automatic Systems of Power Plants with the guidance of Vladimir Ilyukhin, Director of the University Centre for Mechatronic Systems and Robotic Complexes.
The prototype of "Stewart platform" on the pneumatic cylinders, made in SSAU, supports the weight of 80 kg.
As it was explained in SSAU the Centre for Mechatronic Systems and Robotic Complexes, next year one of the Russian companies in St. Petersburg intends to organize mass production of more "heavy" simulators, designed for drivers of heavy trucks and buses on the basis of this development.
Domestic rocket scientists are also interested in the "know-how" of SSAU. For example, the Rocket and Space Centre "Progress" is going to test level sensors for residual fuel in the fuel tanks of the rocket carrier on this mobile platform. This is important to determine the precise fuel amount and to increase the payload of aircraft. A rocket tank will be mounted on a movable platform and during liquid level variations the sensors will record the optimum fuel consumption and the residual fuel.
In addition, manufacturers of domestic horse racing games and auto racing simulators are interested in the low cost and simplicity of the mobile platform design, developed by SSAU, as it can significantly reduce the prime cost of the services they offer.