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Model Agnostic HIL Simulator

Introduction

The improvement in simulation capabilities is behind the rapid development and optimisation of technology over the past decades. Real-life tests will always be the final confirmation for simulation results, but simulation can be the development workhorse. It is several orders of magnitude quicker and cheaper than real-life tests.

The key to a successful simulation environment is to have models that faithfully represent the behaviours of the system being emulated. Uncrewed aircraft systems are complex systems. The UAV Navigation-Grupo Oesía has developed simulators that capture the complexity of the systems of each of our clients through the Hardware-in-the-Loop parametric model.

However, there are some cases where a parametric model cannot capture all the complexity of the platform, or the system integrator already has a working simulation model and integrating it into HIL is an unnecessary effort. The platform designer will always be the best prepared and informed to model its platform. That is why UAV Navigation-Grupo Oesía has launched the Model-Agnostic Hardware-In-the-Loop (MAHIL) simulator, enabling our clients to use their own simulation models in a UAV Navigation-Grupo Oesía FCS simulator environment.

 

MAHIL

The MAHIL simulator uses the same hardware as the regular UAV Navigation-Grupo Oesía HIL simulator. In a standard HIL, the hardware comprises two separate units, FCC (Flight Control Computer) and SIM (Simulator). THE FCC is a fully capable VECTOR-600, like the one flying the real aircraft. The SIM is dedicated to computing the simulation model and sensor data fusion emulation for the navigation solution.

Model Agnostic HIL Simulator

 

The MAHIL simulation model is externalised. A UDP data interface has been developed that allows the HIL to receive sensor data from the external simulator at the same rate it would from the actual sensors on a VECTOR-600. On the same data interface, the MAHIL reports the control vector commanded by the VECTOR-600 board with the actuator commands. The external simulation can compute them. Sensor readings are fed into the UAV Navigation-Grupo Oesía. proprietary sensor fusion algorithm generating a navigation solution for the guidance and control laws for the FCC to use, just as the real system does.

MAHIL has been developed to be compatible with MATLAB™ software and SpeedGoat™ hardware model-based simulation. Compatibility has been tested in a real-time environment, proving this set-up's suitability to obtain meaningful results while greatly reducing adaptation complexity.

One great advantage of this set-up is the flexibility the designer has to introduce changes in the platform design or its physical simulation model. No interaction is required with UAV Navigation-Grupo Oesía to introduce changes into the model, as this is still developed in its preferred simulation environment. All is achieved while retaining the core HIL capability as VECTOR-600 logic runs on the same hardware and software versions as they would in real flight scenarios.

UAV Navigation-Grupo Oesía continues to develop solutions to improve our clients’ capabilities. If you want to know more about the MAHIL simulator, please contact us.

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About

UAV Navigation is a privately-owned company that has specialized in the design of flight control solutions for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) since 2004. It is used by a variety of Tier 1 aerospace manufacturers in a wide range of UAV - also known as Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) or 'drones'. These include high-performance tactical unmanned planes, aerial targets, mini-UAVs and helicopters.

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