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Aerospace Cognitive Engineering Laboratory (ACELAB) Simulator for Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Research and Development  (2020)
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A new generation of aerospace innovators are looking for ways to quickly and efficiently transport people in a safe and environmentally friendly manner. In the not-too-distant future, passengers and goods are expected to routinely fly aboard a new breed of cleaner, smarter air vehicles. This represents a new and significant challenge to the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) which is responsible for aircraft certification, pilot licensing, operating approval and airspace integration.

To help streamline this process, NASA has formulated its Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) project to provide research capabilities for development and evaluation of these new concepts and an environment where industry and regulators can work together to understand the requirements and work toward consensus standards for the new market.

This paper will describe the development of the Aerospace Cognitive Engineering Lab Rapid Automation Test (ACELeRATE) simulator. ACELeRATE is an adaptable fixed-base aircraft simulator focused on the investigation of the performance and interaction of pilots and increasingly automated aircraft systems. ACELeRATE can be re-configured to support various simulation environments. The simulator includes a simple reconfigurable cockpit placed within a 10-foot spherical dome with a cluster of real-time image generators, high-resolution displays and highly realistic scenery with the surrounding digital terrain and required cultural area details (e.g., hangars, runways, ramp areas, taxiways, test range apparatus, buildings with designated rooftop landing areas, and other man-made 3D structures).

This paper will also describe the various hardware and software tools employed in the ACELeRATE simulator, including engineering tools used by NASA for electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) vehicle equations of motion, wind-model simulation in an urban environment, as well as the various modeling techniques and tools used to quickly generate highly realistic 3D terrain models for low level flight including urban terrain and obstacle depictions.
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ACELAB, Aerospace, Air, Cognitive, Engineering, Laboratory, Mobility, Simulator, UAM, Urban
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AIAA Aviation Forum, June 15-19, 2020, Virtual Event
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Alonso Vera
Last Updated: August 15, 2019