Hardware-In-The-Loop

Hardware-In-The-Loop (HWIL) Flight Motion System reduces Radio Frequency (RF) sensor development costs

Challenge:

An Ideal Aerosmith customer at US Navy facility identified the need for a high-performance flight motion simulation system that could shorten the development schedule and reduce program costs in support of a defense weapon program.  Implementation of a Hardware-In-The-Loop (HWIL) motion simulation system would allow customer engineers to thoroughly test Radio Frequency (RF) sensors in a laboratory environment while reducing the number of live-fire tests. In order to conduct the more than 120 tests required each day, and meet program schedule demands, the Ideal Aerosmith Flight Motion Simulator had to operate flawlessly during every test for weeks at a time.  

Ideal Aerosmith Solution:

Ideal Aerosmith designed, manufactured, delivered and installed a flight motion simulator that would accommodate a variety of RF sensors. The payload interface was configured to accommodate sensors designed for the current program, as well as those designed for future programs. Because the system would be operated in an RF anechoic chamber, electric motors were not permitted to drive the simulator axes. So Ideal Aerosmith’s engineers incorporated high-performance hydraulic actuators to drive each axis on the motion system.

The three-axis system was supported by a special base providing a sealed interface to an RF anechoic chamber. In addition, the Ideal Aerosmith team implemented a floor-mounted rail system so the simulator and base could be retracted from the chamber very quickly allowing access to the payload, and ensuring efficient RF sensor installation, serviceable access, and removal from the flight motion simulator.

Results:

The Ideal Aerosmith technical solutions measurably exceeded the customer‘s testing requirements. The flight motion simulator has provided reliable operation during the U.S Navy’s RF sensor program. A major defense contractor recently purchased a follow-on system for the purpose of implementing the same successful operation and realizing the same efficiencies in their HWIL simulation laboratory.