The tendency of the past to build and test in aeronautics has clearly been overridden by a very extensive simulation activity for many reasons, one of these being the risk associated to safety-critical or safety-related systems. Simulation in hence strategic to develop and test all the key aircraft elements, such as flight control systems, and is now being used effectively also beyond the design purposes, to conceive and evaluate mission strategies, for example, Humane-Machine-Interfaces or operational procedures. During the last decade, many commercial simulation environments and advanced software codes have been released and made available to research centers and industrial entities, which now share very powerful and versatile simulation tools. It is now possible to simulate very complex multi-variable multi-dynamic non linear aircraft systems in real time on a single personal computer. There are tools for testing, verification and validation of the related flight control systems and for automatic generation of executable codes, which comply with the main avionic standards (such as the DO-178B). The proposer research group has been using effectively all these tools extensively to develop flight simulators for rotary and fixed wing manned aircrafts as well as for lighter-than-air unmanned platforms. The group has developed a strong competence in all the activities related to interpretative dynamic simulation, advance control system design, software stress analysis, I/O interface setting and testing, as well as real-time validation. Moreover the group is now sustaining an extensive effort in developing a Matlab/Simulink framework for multi-purpose activities such as system and subsystem design, but also model-base reliability and safety analysis. All these technical competences as well as all the already available unclassified simulators will be made available for the MAS_Lab, to develop, validate and maintain the aircraft simulator object of this proposal.
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