NPSNET: Flight Simulation Dynamic Modeling Using Quaternions
Cooke, Joseph M.
Zyda, Michael J.
Pratt, David R.
McGhee, Robert B.
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The Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) has actively explored the design and implementation of networked, real time, three-dimensional battlefield simulations on low-cost, commercially available graphics workstations. The most recent system, NPSNET, has improved in functionality to such an extent that it is considered a low-cost version of the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's (DARPA) SIMNET system. To reach that level, it was necessary to economize in certain areas of the code so that real time per- formance occurred at an acceptable level. One of those areas was in aircraft dynamics. However, with "off-the-shelf" computers becoming faster and cheaper, real-time and realistic dynamics are no longer an expensive option. Realistic behavior can now be enhanced through the incorporation of an aerodynamic model. To accomplish this task, a prototype flightsimulator was builtthatiscapableofsimulatingnumerous typesof aircraft simultaneously within a virtual world. Besides being easily incorporated into NPSNET, such a simulator also provides the base functionality for the creation of a general purpose aerodynamic simulator that is particularly useful to aerodynamics students for graphically analyzing differing aircraft's stability and control characteristics. This sys- tem is designed for use on a Silicon Graphics workstation and uses the GL libraries. A key feature of the simulator is the use of quaternions for aircraft orientation representa- tion to avoid singularitiesand highdata rates associated with the more common Euler angle representation of orientation.
Presence , Vol 1., No. 4, pp. 404-420. Errata is included in this record. A Refereed PublicationThe article of record as published may be found at https://doi.org/10.1162/pres.19188.8.131.524
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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