State-of-the-art new flight simulator

ONERA, through its Cognitive Engineering and Applied Neuroscience unit (ICNA) based at the Salon-de-Provence Air Base (BA 701), conducts cognitive engineering activities for the development of new Human/System Interaction (HSI) concepts for managing complex systems or operations.

The study of human-system interactions necessarily involves putting the human operator in realistic conditions. For many reasons, both scientific (need to perfectly control all the variables) and practical (such as cost economy and safety), simulation is an essential means to put the human operator in this situation.

The French aerospace lab’s new flight simulator brings together the latest technologies including 3D capabilities, separate and dynamic POV for pilot and co-pilot, and head and hand tracking.

To meet the requirements of these various studies, ONERA decided to install a flight simulator incorporating a research cockpit for large aircraft such as the Airbus A320 or A350, to immerse the human operator in an environment as close as possible to the real thing, which necessarily involves the visual.

When ONERA wrote the technical specifications for the projection system, they realised that they would have to work with a company specialised in the world of simulation. This company would have to provide a simulator capable of meeting high requirements, such as a large cylindrical screen, a 4K resolution with 3D capabilities, a dynamic viewpoint for the pilot and co-pilot, a head-tracking system, a motorised day or night mode, and automatic calibration software. All of this must of course be configurable through an intuitive web interface. ST Engineering Antycip won the tender with a budget-friendly offer that would allow the installation team to meet their high requirements, all to a relatively tight deadline.