How Alsim helps to educate future engineers
The Engineering Pack is meant to be used with our AL250 flight simulator.
The interface is made of 2 main parts:
- A network interface that allows Matlab® to send and receive realtime data from the simulator
- A user interface inside Matlab, which consists of functions and variables which may be used inside Matlab scripts, or blocks which may be accessed within Simulink®. Each simulation variable inside our software is identified and accessed by a name. Thus, Matlab variables are connected to the simulators by using their names. It is then possible to read and write values directly from the simulation software running on the simulator. This kind of low level interface gives the user the ability to interact with the simulator software and hardware, and to develop any kind of aircraft simulation part (from a system to a complete flight model).
- Create custom concept instrument display designs for evaluation
- Create and inject custom errors (i.e. map shift, subtle failures)
- Extract flight data parameters (airspeed, altitude, heading, power etc.) and pass them to external computers for students to observe, log and analyse in real time
- Modify the flight characteristics of aircraft to demonstrate unusual circumstances (i.e. neutral or negative stability)
- Integrate pilot monitoring systems, such as eye tracking cameras and physiological monitoring equipment.
- Generally support research trials easily (i.e. quick scenario generation and control)
"We picked Alsim because it not only offered a great flight simulator, but also an engineering kit that allows our students to ‘look under the hood.’ Alsim’s unique Engineering Pack enables us to use the simulator to demonstrate the principles of flight, and further develop our work in research projects and advanced labs. The simulator will be used to teach flight mechanics and flight controls. By using the Engineering Pack, we can change the aerodynamic derivatives of an aircraft’s configuration and demonstrate in a hands-on way, how this affects the dynamics. In addition, the students can design their own autopilot and implement it through the Engineering Pack on the simulator. In advanced integrated group projects, students can develop their own aircraft, generate an aerodynamic model for it and fly test it on the simulator."
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Engineering, The University of Nottingham
What can I do with this Pack ?
Real Time Two Way Communication (read & write)
- Access to all simulation data, including buttons, equipment conditions, flight controls, breakers, etc.
Adjust Simulation Parameters in Real Time
- Possible to play in real time on simulation parameters (aircraft characteristics and systems)
Replace Aircraft Systems
- Opportunity to replace aircraft systems by other systems written by clients (eg. implement Electrical flight controls)
- The pre-loaded simulator flight models can be used for qualification purposes at any time.
Access to ALSIM’s SDK (Software Development Kit)
- Interface between Matlab and simulator to help development in MatLab/Simulink programs that act directly on the simulator
- Flight data processing
- Creation of flight scenarios
- Interface with biometric measuring tools: eye trackers, attention and tiredness measurement, etc.
- New types of instrument conception
- ALSIM’s SDK allows programmers to write software able to communicate with the device
- Plugin for Matlab to communicate with the simulator in real time
- A MatLab flight model sandbox offering endless possibilities