The SMAR-TeR project is aimed at identifying, developing, prototyping and pilot-in-the-loop validating a new class of active inceptors for civil tilt rotor application.
The design will focus on inceptors’ mechanical interfaces and ergonomics so that NGCTR FCS augmentation can be further improved. At the same time studies on ergonomics, electromechanical senso-actuators, haptic capabilities, command logic including diagnostic capabilities and system integration by pilot-in-the-loop simulation at WAL premises will be part of SMAR-TeR commitment.
The first step will consist in a specification review, a conceptual system design, trade-off activities and a technological innovation assessment with the final aim to identify the possible ergonomic architectures that match the WAL requirements and the tilt rotor specific application. Virtual reality based and 3D-printed methods will be used in order to define the best inceptor ergonomic architecture and functionality to improve the pilot and co-pilot comfort and workload reduction. Innovative inceptor with “haptic capabilities” will be implemented by developing software and hardware solutions in order to define an active inceptor system that feeds information from the tiltrotor’s fly-by-wire system to the pilot through the inceptor itself. This “tactile cueing” will be one of the many benefits of the proposed active inceptor system.
Algorithms modelling, simulation and performance analysis will be carried out in order to develop a new worldwide state of art inceptor for tiltrotor application. The system will be designed, produced and tested keeping in mind current trends in pilot haptic aiding that go beyond the variable stiffness or passive haptic aids characteristics currently adopted; the proposed hardware and software architecture will allow adoption of future active haptic aids.
The final three inceptors’ configurations will be tested at WAL facilities in order to define the inceptor specification.