Modeling and Validation of Pilot-Aircraft Cybernetic Systems


Modeling and Validation of Pilot-Aircraft Cybernetic Systems



Benjamin Moidel



A notable example of adverse dynamic coupling within modern cybernetic systems is spatial disorientation of pilots in flight. In this presentation we propose a preliminary methodology for developing and validating pilot-aircraft models to predict adverse coupling modes present in the interactions between human and machine. The realism of a Cessna 152 model within the University of Dayton’s Merlin 521 Flight Simulator was validated through both pilot feedback using the Cooper-Harper handling rating scale and comparisons of real in-flight dynamic responses to the response data output by the simulator.This simulator has the unique capability that any aircraft can be modeled and simulated through an easy-to-use user interface. Its capsule provides an immersive experience for users, delivering realistic physics and 6 DOF motion within a typical cockpit layout. Time-varying data can be extracted post-simulation, including ambient environmental conditions, control inputs, and dynamic responses. To validate the model, simulator data was compared to accelerometer and GPS data collected in-flight from a Cessna 152.In the near future, following an Institutional Review Board approved protocol, a group of 5-10 pilots with extensive experience will be asked to fly the Cessna 152 model, both with and without capsule motion. The pilots’ experience qualifies them to provide reliable feedback on the handling characteristics of the model using the Cooper-Harper handling rating scale. Tasks such as a coordinated turn and a constant-speed climb will be used to assign handling ratings to the model. The responses will be compared to the pilots’ initial handling rating of the real Cessna 152 based on their experience. Pilot ratings will be supplemented with additional feedback on the apparent realism of the model. Overall validation of the model will require both the flight data output and pilot feedback for the model to align with that of the real aircraft.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Sid Gunasekaran, Megan E. Reissman, Timothy Reissman

Primary Advisor's Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Stander Symposium project, School of Engineering

Modeling and Validation of Pilot-Aircraft Cybernetic Systems