Simulators of Test Facilities

The overall goal of this activity is to significantly increase the knowledge gained from physical tests through the development of the state-of-the-technology simulators for the test facilities at NASA Langley.

Among the different applications of the simulators are:

  • Interactive virtual tour, which includes
    • Identifying the basic components of the test facility (their names and what each component does)
    • Navigating through with voice, mouse and handheld devices (seamless transition between animations and QuickTime VR)
  • Interactive tutorial - description of the operations. Also,
    • Coupling the description with real-time visualization (photorealistic images)
    • Interactive navigation (e.g., skip, repeat, etc.)
  • Physical test simulation, including
    • Use simulation for pretest planning and predicting the measurements
    • Sensitivity analysis, to identify the major parameters affecting the test results, and to help in the design of intelligent experiments
  • Interactive training of engineers and technicians, with emphasis on
    • Training the novice
    • Testing the trained learner—this includes scenarios of possible problems during the test
  • Coupling physical experiments with simulation in either real-time or after the physical test to gain more insight, and to significantly increase the knowledge gained from the test. For the wind tunnels, this includes the study of
    • Wall and support interference
    • Flow angularity, and nonuniformity
    • Adjustment from model scale to full scale

The NASA facilities considered in this project include six wind tunnels, (14 x 22 foot subsonic tunnel)

National Transonic facility

16-foot Transonic Tunnel

8-foot high-temperature tunnel

31 inch Mach 10 tunnel

Unitary plan wind tunnel

and the Langley full-scale tunnel, the aircraft landing dynamics facility, and the combined load test facility.