Dynamic Interface Modelling and Simulation Fidelity Criteria DIMSFC
The operation of an aircraft to and from the deck of a ship can represent an extremely hazardous and high workload task for the pilot. For any combination of aircraft and ship, a safe operational envelope is required. The limits of this envelope are largely defined by excessive pilot workload due to ship motion, ship airwake turbulence or wind-over-deck (WoD). Adherence to these limits is vital for ensuring the safety of aviation operations.
First-of-Class Flight Trials (FOCFTs) designed to determine the safe operational envelope for one aircraft/ship combination, require an instrumented aircraft and ship for a period of 3-5 weeks. During this time, a large number of deck landings will be carried out in as wide a variety of WoD and sea-state conditions as possible. Establishing the safe operational envelope in this way is time consuming, costly and hazardous. The final operational envelope will inevitably be limited by the prevailing conditions encountered and may often represent a conservative estimate relative to the true limits. The use of piloted simulation to augment or even to replace tradition at-sea trials is an attractive prospect. The benefits include provision of a safe, controllable, flexible and repeatable environment for ship/aircraft testing that may lead to expanded safe operational envelopes. However, before piloted simulation can be used as a tool for predicting safe operational envelopes, the fidelity level of the simulation and its limitations must be fully understood. The focus of the current research effort is to develop simulation fidelity criteria and measures for such simulations.