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Comparing Multimodal Pilot Pitch Control Behavior Between Simulated and Real Flight


Pool,  DM
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Zaal, P., Pool, D., van Paassen, M., & Mulder, M. (2011). Comparing Multimodal Pilot Pitch Control Behavior Between Simulated and Real Flight. In AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference 2011 (pp. 615-638). Red Hook, NY, USA: Curran.

In order to improve the tuning process of flight simulator motion cueing filters and support the development of objective simulator motion cueing requirements, a better understanding of how multimodal pilot control behavior is affected by simulator motion fidelity is required. To this end, an experiment was performed where seven pilots performed a pitch target-following disturbance-rejection task in a simulator under four different motion cueing settings, in addition to performing the task in a real aircraft, which served as the baseline condition. Differences between the simulator and aircraft experiment setup were minimized. Small remaining differences in the display and the sidestick setup slightly affected the experiment dependent measures. However, the effects introduced by the motion cueing settings were far more apparent. When motion fidelity was increased to full aircraft motion, pilots were able to increase performance in attenuating the disturbance signal significantly. In addition, for increased motion fidelity, a change in multimodal pilot control behavior was observed by a decrease in pilot visual lead, while visual and vestibular perception delays increased. Pilot performance and control behavior in the simulator condition with full pitch motion and filtered pitch and c.g. heave motion was most similar to the in-flight condition.