The laboratory has two main areas of activity: (1) pilot-vehicle systems and (2) guidance and control systems for small unmanned indoors flight vehicles. The pilot-vehicle systems activity includes research on advanced integrated forward-looking flight displays for low or zero visibility Map-of-the-Earth flight, displays for hovering flight, perspective display formats for air-traffic control, pilot-vehicle modelling and active control manipulators. The laboratory is equipped with a 6 degrees-of-freedom moving-base flight simulator for carrying out pilot-vehicle systems research. It is an electrically driven system, fitted with a unique pneumatic support system. The simulator cabin of this system is presently being remodeled.
Guidance and control of unmanned indoors vehicles in the absence of GPS is based on combined inertial and electro-optical sensors. For simulating the motions of an indoors hovering vehicle, a unique 7 degrees-of-freedom moving platform has been built on which the sensor package is mounted. The platform, which moves freely through the room within a 2m diameter cylindrical volume of 3 meters high, is suspended from the ceiling by 6 computer-controlled wires. The 7th degree-of-freedom is required to allow all-attitude yaw motions. Two high-precision 3-degrees-of-freedom flight tables complement the equipment needed for evaluating inertial and electro-optical sensor performance.