This lab houses Carleton’s second-largest motion platform (Stewart-Gough platform) used for testing shipboard dynamic systems. The platform was purchased in 2008 and examines what is required to land and secure helicopters safely on moving ships. The motion platform is also used to examine “postural stability” or the ability to maintain your stance on a moving ship.

Postural stability in motion environments is measured by the rate of MII (Motion Induced Interruption), which looks at how many times an individual has to stop trying to complete a task due to deck motion. This research has large implications for work safety on ships; informing how much time must be allotted for tasks, or to establish if they are possible to complete safely under extreme conditions.

In 2013 Carleton Researchers travelled to Nova Scotia to conduct a heavy-weather sea trial aboard Canadian Forces Auxiliary Vessel (CFAV) Quest 130 km off the coast of Nova Scotia. The Quest research ship measures 70 meters in length and is well-suited to this type of research. Waves on this 8-day excursion reached as high as 9 meters providing excellent opportunity to investigate shipboard postural stability.

The flight simulation portion of the Applied Dynamics Lab houses two flight simulators – the Cessna 172 and Diamond Katana simulators. While the ACE lab simulators are tailored to cognitive performance research, and the CUSP simulator provides a unique range, the Applied Dynamics Lab Cessna 172 and Katana simulators have a different goal.

Commercial flight simulators can cost as much as $10 million dollars making it difficult for many flight schools to afford the technology required to provide pilots with realistic simulation training. Carleton is using the 172 and Katana simulators to address this problem by designing and developing lower-cost simulators that can be used by flight schools while maintaining training effectiveness. The Katana simulator was originally a model DA-20 used for in-air flight training before being grounded by a rough landing several years ago. As a result, Ottawa Aviation Services at the Ottawa Airport donated the small plane to Carleton in 2012. Using the fuselage of a real plane for simulation ensures authenticity so that the flight experience remains as close to reality as possible.

The 172 simulator was originally built by, now defunct, Vector Training Systems, Inc. Without company support, the Vector simulators have almost all fallen into a state of inoperable disrepair. The one currently at Carleton came from the Waterloo Wellington Flight School. Broken beyond affordable repair, our researchers have improved upon the original design, incorporating a 220 degree field of view visual system, seat vibration actuators to reflect the feel of the real aircraft, an immersive audio cueing system, and a software interface allowing the use of modern high-performance computer systems and flight simulation software. The Vector arrived in the Applied Dynamics Lab in May 2014 and will be returned to the flight school as a fully-operational flight training device in early 2016.

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