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Working in a Collaborative Factory of the Flight Simulators Branch of RISE

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - WrightBroS (Working in a Collaborative Factory of the Flight Simulators Branch of RISE)

Reporting period: 2019-01-01 to 2020-12-31

Problem addressed

WrightBroS project is aimed to develop a prototype of NewTechnology flight simulator. The project has been inspired by collaboration of Wilbur and Orville Wright. Their collaboration become for us the symbol of fruitful collaboration betwen Academy and Industry, two metaphoric brothers. That is why we erected the “Collaborative Factory of the Flight Simulators Branch of RISE” and started the project giving it the acronym WrightBroS to commemorate Orville’s and Wilbur’s efforts. Research in WrightBroS is performed by teams from Silesian University of Technology (PL) - Coordinator - and two High Tech companies: LG Nexera (software development company from AT), and Virtual Reality Media (professional flight simulators manufacturer from SK). Coordinator provides to the WrightBroS project the equipment of exceptional in Europe Virtual Flight Laboratory at SUT.

Importance for society

Importance for society lies in increasing the effectiveness of pilots’ training, which influences the safety of aviation by using flight simulators equipped with inventions developed in the project. Second essential impact of the project on society is related to Marie Curie actions general goals. Particular attention is being paid to wide and efficient networking, dissemination and communication. WrightBroS project strengthens career perspectives of participating scientists and becomes the foundation for lasting collaborations in exploitation of results. The envisaged deployment by VRM of the NewTechnology products will increase competitiveness of European industry on the world market of professional flight simulators.

Overall objectives

Technological objectives of WrightBroS project are focused on:

(1) Development of system for procedural knowledge acquisition and processing
(2) Development of AR-based maintenance and service system
(3) Development of NewTechnology flight simulator

In addition, soft objectives of the project are implemented through rich programme of mutual staff training, networking, and organising events dedicated to respect cultural heritage of more than 100 years of aviation history.
Fault self-diagnostics

The concepts of a fault diagnosis was addressed at different levels with special focus in industrial electronics. It was a starting point towards selection of practical solutions for design of self-diagnosis modules in flight simulator. This latter has been completed in the second year of the project.

Image processing and recognition

We studied advanced image processing and pattern recognition. Based on these studies we proposed a set of algorithms relevant for development of AR-support to flight simulator. In addition we created WrightBroS database presenting 27 various devices of flight simulator cockpit. These images served as input date for verification of accuracy of various image processing and recognition methods.

Knowledge processing

Knowledge management has been decomposed to knowledge acquisition, storage and processing. Knowledge acquisition in turn, was considered in a framework with human agents and human-inspired agents. Similarities and differences of both approaches were identified. As third framework, the one with machine agents was also addressed. Then, the studies were focused on acquisition of particular type of knowledge having special importance for the system developed in the WrightBroS project. This type of knowledge is a procedural knowledge. Not only the process of its extraction from instructional texts has been considered, but also issues related to representation and storage. We focused on storing in a database the procedural knowledge describing flight simulator procedures. Then, the approach to model the scenario player as a hierarchy of finite state machines was proposed and verified by intensive computer simulations.

AR-based support to flight simulator

Supplementing flight simulator with augmented reality technology is aimed to provide more efficient training of the pilot. The review of the state-of-the-art of AR technologies and applications focused on the user-machine interaction was performed.

NewTechnology flight simulator

VRM staff has installed in the company an empty cockpit of Boeing 737, which is a target aircraft for the prototype of innovative simulator.
“The Flight Simulators Branch of RISE” will achieve a progress beyond the state of the art by developing a new AR-based product applicable for interactive work of service staff (logistic support), maintenance training, and training of pilots and aircraft technicians (transition training, cockpit and aircraft systems familiarization, etc.).

The AR application in connection with the AR glasses will allow the technician or pilot to see the real environment of the cockpit (instruments, avionics, switches, etc.) combined with a computer generated image (schemas, links, descriptions, pictures).

The simulator (FSTD) develop in the project will represent level FNPT II MCC and will be used to train pilots and maintenance staff using AR technology, the correct use of normal, abnormal, emergency procedures, operator procedures, flight procedures, gaining habits and experience in the air traffic environment, class or type of aircraft and to verify the skill and knowledge acquired in the form of testing. The developed technology will allow the user to make education (learning and testing) of the pilot more efficient, cheaper, in a shorter time and using qualified persons for a training process, which precedes standard simulator training with capability to offer real environment education of the simulator training processes.

Hence the progress beyond the state of the art will materialize with development of NewTechnology Flight simulator supporter by augmented reality system as opposed to current architectures based solely on virtual reality.

We will demonstrate the capability and fully functional system for specific tasks of learning/testing (pilots and maintenance staff) to replace classroom, CBT, VR, CPT, distant learning, education with the most modern technology available on the market.

By above results, the project will impact innovation potential of other (non aviation) sectors, too. Global Augmented Reality Market size is valued by Bizwit Research & Consulting LLP to approximately USD 2.37 billion in 2016 and anticipated to grow with a healthy growth rate of more than 56% over the forecast period 2017-2025. This development requires significant increase of R&I potential in the field. Direct results of the project, although focused solely on manufacturing of the NewTechnology flight simulators, due to application of a structural approach based on universal knowledge acquisition and management system, will become a framework and a fully functional demonstration of innovative enabling technology regarding application of Augmented Reality in manufacturing, maintenance and training of operation of other products. Such products, having sufficient complexity to justify developing for them Augmented Reality components, include electrical buses, other special vehicles such as trams, trains, boats, or even elements of much more complex structures such as turbines of wind power plants. Our contribution to know-how related to these Augmented Reality applications demonstrate improvement of R&I potential caused by WrightBroS project.
Communicating WrightBroS to children, who became pilots in Virtual Flight Lab. at SUT, Gliwice, PL
Discussion on project during Kick-off Meeting in VRM, Trencin, SK
The first Thematic Scholl on Knowledge Management was organised in LG Nexera, Vienna, AT
Visit of secondees from SUT at Museum of Technology in Vienna: original glider of Otto Lilienthal
The NewTechnology flight simulator will be supported by AR system for training and maintanance
Knowledge processing types
During visit in Museum of Technics in Vienna we found original engine manufactured by Wright Bros.
The collaboration of Wright Bros. - our inspiration for collaboration between Acedemia and Industry
Visit in manufacturing area during Kick-off Meeting in VRM, Trencin, SK