Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Virtual Reality technology for better decision-making in building optimised, safer cockpits

The aerospace industry’s efforts to reduce product development times and costs are hampered by the need to build several physical prototypes for verifying various factors during design. An EU initiative used virtual reality technology to accelerate the design process while enabling faster and more flexible aircraft cockpit prototype creation.
Virtual Reality technology for better decision-making in building optimised, safer cockpits
Accounting for the human factor in the design phase is key to the reliability and resilience of aeronautics systems, both from an operational and error tolerance perspective. The approach used so far in cockpit design involved the creation of physical prototypes connected to avionics or flight simulation, the recording of pilot’s activities and the evaluation of the design in pen and paper by expert analysts, which required excessive time and cost. VR technologies combined with human task and cognitive workload analyses provide an alternative solution.

The EU-funded project i-VISION (Immersive semantics-based virtual environments for the design and validation of human-centred aircraft cockpits) introduced a novel approach for cockpit design based on the use of VR technology and the creation of machine-interpretable knowledge of human tasks and flight procedures.

Project partners defined, implemented and validated a solution consisting of three distinct, yet complementary developments.

The first is a web-based application that serves as an interface for the expert/engineer, allowing him/her to conduct advanced Human Factors (HF) analyses on human operations during various flight procedures in a VR-based cockpit.

Secondly, an enhanced VR platform serves as a reusable and low-cost simulation test bed, namely a realistic virtual mock-up for experimenting with various cockpit configurations, thus enabling human-centred assessment of future cockpit architectures. Users can immerse in the virtual cockpit environment and participate in complex simulations, while their actions are being recorded for further analysis.

Employment of semantic technologies for connecting the modelling and analysis procedures with the cockpit elements and integrating the relevant data is the third technical advance. This allows for workflow observation and complex querying, aiding the evaluation of an aircraft cockpit in a timely and cost-effective way.

i-VISION outcomes will help advance aircraft cockpits design by systematically reusing knowledge and allowing quicker and more adaptable prototyping. The reduction of the need for physical prototyping will reduce development time and cost of new aircraft cockpits. Project results also provide a collaborative design environment to effectively analyse human operations utilising VR. This will lead to highly competitive cockpits for end users and increased safety of future aircrafts.

Related information




Virtual reality, human factor, I-VISION, semantics-based virtual environments, human-centred aircraft cockpits
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top