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VECTOR-HIL

The VECTOR-HIL is the most advanced training simulator developed by UAV Navigation. The HIL enables the simulation of realistic flight condition using a real VECTOR hardware & software (FCC) and a second computational unit simulating the environment and sensor input (SIM).

Test VECTOR in real flight configuration

Test actual flight control software.

Realistic training environment for UAV operators

Simulate a complete operation for training purposes.

Realistic simulation of sensor failures

Test and train for sensor failures.

Platform customizable, 3D model view

Full 3D visualization of the UAV and its environment.

Simulate adverse weather conditions

Test the UAV and operator under different weather conditions (wind speed direction and/or gusts, etc.)

Naval operations

Carrier ship simulation including sea behaviours (speed, heading, waves).

The VECTOR-HIL allows customers to train their pilots with UAV Navigation’s system, but that can be used in trade fairs or for commercial DEMOs. In the same way, it can be used in iron-bird environments for testing as well as to connect some payloads for a more realistic simulation. The device consists of two separated computational boards: one runs an aircraft simulator (SIM) while the second (FCC) runs the real flight VECTOR software.

The SIM is able to:

     Display the 3D platform and environment on Flight Gear.

     Emulate the aircraft dynamics based on a complex dynamic and parameterized model.

     Emulate the behaviour of an estimator suite (AHRS) which is included in the standard autopilot VECTOR.

     Emulate different payload sensors such as: Laser Altimeter, Weight on wheels (WOW), RPM sensor etc…

     Read the PWM output from the AP to emulate the servo actuator in each control surface. Also, it is possible to simulate sensor failure, noise, disturbances and servo malfunction.

     Perform complete Pre-flight procedures.

The FCC Board stands for Flight Control Computer and runs the real flight control software. It receives the attitude data from the AHRS-INS port as the original code does, and it is configured and managed by Visionair.

WHAT IS VECTOR HIL?

VECTOR-HIL is an Hardware In the Loop simulator designed by UAV Navigation. It is based on the VECTOR architecture and allows to simulate missions of Targets, Rotary & Fixed Wing platforms

To provide a realistic training environment to the user, HIL provides extensive configuration capabilities. This also helps the user get a better understanding of the aircraft in case of emergency situations, without having to test it directly on the platform.

The simulation environment can be controlled through the HIL SIM CONFIG application.

This software has been developed by UAVN for Windows® and launches the configured Flight Gear session.

It features several tabs which allow to:

  • Configure the communications
  • Start/Stop/Pause de simulation
  • Control the simulation environment

 

HIL Simulator Config tool

 

During the training, the following functionalities are available:

     Changes in the Center of Gravity and Inertias of the platform. It is useful, for example, to emulate variation in weight distribution due to fuel consumption or by cargo drop.

     Emulation of engine failure or power loss. This functionality allows the simulation of the autorotation for helicopters or the activation of stall protection for fixed wing platforms.

     Deactivation or perturbations with signal noise of several sensors such as:

     Laser altimeter

     Magnetometer to emulate e.g. calibration out of boundaries.

     GNSS to emulate e.g. a poor GNSS signal

     ADS to emulate issues in STATIC and DYNAMIC pressure sensors.

     Gyro and accelerometers to emulate vibration issues on the platform.

     RPM sensors

     WOW sensors

     Weather condition simulations such as wind speed and direction or gusts.

     Servo lock up simulations to a known position.

     Carrier ship simulation including sea behaviours (speed, heading, waves) for sea operations.

     Ruggedized housing

     One wire connectivity.

WHAT IS VECTOR HIL USEFUL FOR

FLIGHT OPERATION TRAINING

The HIL reproduce a realistic environment that allows to train UAV operators:

  • Trainer can control & monitor the student operator activity remotely during the simulation.
  • Realistic representation of UAV flight operation conditions.
  • Accumulation of air-time for the Operators.
  • Training of Preflight procedure to achieve quickly ready-to-fly conditions in real operations.

 

MISSION PLANNING

The HIL can be also used to plan and test missions that the platform must accomplish in real operations. 

  • To do so the user disposes of the Visionair tool: Flight Plan Editor.
  • The missions can be tested in realistic weather conditions
  • It is possible to simulate realistically advanced missions such as Cargo-Drop, or parachute release:
    • Switch activation
    • Changes in Mass, CG and Inertia parameters
    • 3D Visualization of the maneuvers

Mission Planning

FAIRS AND SHOWROOMS

In Fairs and Showrooms the HIL is strategic for:

  • Grabbing attention to your stand
  • Performing Live Demos to potential clients
  • Showing a 3D view of your own flying aircraft model
  • Giving profesional brand image to your company

fairs and showroom simulator

INTEGRATION TESTS IN IRON-BIRD CONFIGURATION

The HIL can be used for “iron-bird” tests thanks to its connectivity capabilities:

  • 24 GPIOs
  • 3 COM Ports
  • 1 Ethernet port

In such configuration the HIL serves for servo and peripherals integration tests, by simulating movement and payload handling expected during real flight

Integration test

EMERGENCY & SAFETY PROCEDURES: TESTING AND TRAINING

Through the HIL software interface it is possible to induce emergency conditions during the flight operation simulation. This feature fulfil a twofold role:

test and training emergency and safety

 

 

I/O

System Conector

Ethernet RJ45

Electrical

Power supply

9 to 36 VDC

Output Power

6 W

Power Conector

Female 2.5 mm barrel jack (positive polarity)

Mechanical / Environment

Size (L, W, H)

250 x 170 x 90 (mm)

Weight

1300 g

Temperature range

-40ºC to +60ºC)

Features

SIL

HIL

 

GCS software training tool

 


 Both simulation solutions allow the user to simulate a UAV operation with different fidelity levels. All guidance modes from Manual flight to a completely automatic simulation can be simulated allowing the UAV pilot  to rehearse missions or train in the use of the system.

Simulation fidelity

Logic Level Generic / Custom

The VECTOR-SIL solution executes a VECTOR autopilot  software version that incorporates a simulator embedded into the autopilot code. While this assures SIL will behave exactly like the real autopilot at the logic level,  execution times and sensor behavior are not the same as in real operation.

HIL on the other hand executes the exact same VECTOR code as the flight ready autopilot relying on an external CPU to create a  simulation environment mimics the expected  sensor and actuator delays. For control gain adjustment and advanced training, or platform modification testing HIL is the correct option.

Advanced and emergency procedure simulation

 Basic

Advanced

 Although the SIL can simulate most of operational situations, the HIL simulator includes some additional  scenarios such as advanced weather simulation (wind and random gusts) , advanced sensor and actuator failure simulation (from blocked servos to jammed or spoofed GNSS), taxi, more realistic depictions of runway take off and landing, catapult launch or engine telemetry  simulation. 

Physical Aircraft Model

Generic Custom VECTOR-HIL allows for complete customization of your aircraft. This includes: custom stability derivatives,  ground interaction parameters such as landing gear position, taxi simulation or distributed thrush among multiple engines.

FlightGear interface

 Basic

Advanced

 Through the use of Visionair’s “FLIGHT GEAR” tool it is possible to interact with flight gear with both the SIL and the HIL. However this feature represents autopilot telemetry which is constrained by data link bandwidth limitations. HIL simulator has a much faster refresh rate making flight gear visualization more compelling for client DEMO and showrooms. Also HIL ground interaction is integrated with Flight Gear ensuring the best simulation behavior.

Instructor Position

- VECTOR-HIL simulator enables an instructor to control the simulation while the operator student faces the operational awareness he would have during a real flight. In the VECTOR-SIL this setup is not possible.

Sea operations

 -

 

 HIL simulation environment includes the possibility of simulating the operation of UAV from the deck  of a vessel. The simulation includes the control of the ship and its interaction with the sea waves.

Customization

- HIL simulator is open to platform specific customization of the simulation environment as it is run on a different HW. For example the number and position of the engines or variations in the mass center depending on fuel consumption or payload use.

Iron Bird Integration

 -

 

VECTOR-HIL with its exposed GPIO and com ports hardware is designed to allow the integration into an “iron bird” testbed.

Do you want to know more about VECTOR-SIL?

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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.