Overview of the test equipment

Simulation Center FSR

A320 Simulator

The Institute of Flight System and Automatic Control operates a fixed-based research flight simulator. The Institute's research groups use this simulator to validate their concepts together with the end-user, active civil airline and test pilots. The simulator follows a modular concept in which hard- and software components can easily be exchanged and extended. The flight simulation software and the simulation environment have been developed at the Institute, allowing the continuous extension and adaptation to evaluation specific requirements.

Further Information About the A320 Simulator

DA 40-180 Simulator

Besides operating a flight simulator of a transport category airliner the Institute of Flight Systems and Automatic Control owns and operates a general aviation category flight simulator. This smaller simulator is based on a FNTP produced by the Trebur, Germany, based company Diamond Simulation. It represents the single-eninged Diamond DA 40-180 Diamond Star sport and touring airplane. This aircraft is in widespread use in the general aviation community and often is equpped with modern IFR-capable avionics. Consequently the simulator is also provided with the same systems, such as a Garmin G1000 integrated avionics suite.

Further Information about the DA40-180 simulator

The simulators of the FSR in video

A short documentation about the use of the simulators of the institute in current research projects can be found under the following link.

The simulators of the FSR in video (YouTube)

The Test Vehicle for Navigation

The institute owns a test vehicle for use as a mobile testing platform, which could hold very different sensors. At present, the testing vehicle is equipped with:

– a highly accurate geodetical GPS receivers as well as numerous commercially available GPS receivers

– a data link to our own mobile GPS reference station

– a very precise avionic initial navigation system (INS)

– a data link surveying the air traffic situation on airports

Various test rigs are used to validate the diagnosis and prognosis methods developed at the Institute. With the help of these test rigs wear mechanisms are analysed and so-called run-to-failure curves are generated which enables the training of data-based diagnosis and prognosis models through machine learning algorithms.

In the past the FSR operated an asynchronous motor test rig with which different types of load such as radial forces or electric current were applied to test deep groove ball bearings to simulate different failure cases. In addition a further test rig enabled the investigation of deep groove ball bearings of a fan with a controlled air flow (constant load). Vibration sensors and sensors for measuring the phase currents of the motor were used to determine the wear condition.

At present two test rigs are ready for use at the FSR for research into prognostics and health management methods.

Test rig for the investigation of multi-copter drive trains

The FSR operates a test rig for the investigation of the drive trains (battery, electronic speed controller, brushless direct current motor, propeller) of multicopters with regard to their wear and tear as well as the available power, which was built up in the course of the MAAM project.

Picture: FSR TU Darmstadt

With an optional wind generator the influences of the airflow in flight can be taken into account. The test rig is equipped with sensors for measuring thrust force, air speed, rotational speed, temperature and humidity. The control and data acquisition is done via LabView using the external NI 6353 board with 32 AI, 48 DIO and 4 AO channels. Thanks to the modular design, it is possible to introduce specific error cases into the individual components of the drive train and analyse their effects.

Actuator and transmission test bench

Within the SiFliegeR project an actuator test rig was built. With this test rig the use and degradation of electromechanical actuators can be investigated. The built-in torque motor allows an active force application so that dynamic loads, such as those occurring on control surfaces during flight, can be mapped. Thanks to the extensive sensor technology (torque, vibration, phase currents & voltages, temperatures, etc.), the condition of the actuator can be recorded.

The modular design allows easy modification of the test bench. Instead of actuators, for example, gearboxes are also examined with regard to their wear under different loads. The torque motor is used as speed sensor and a hysteresis brake for load application.

For further research projects, the flexible design also offers the possibility to quickly adapt the setup for the investigation of other rotating parts. A comprehensive measurement hardware is available which can be used flexibly via the compatRio from National Instruments in real-time and also with the support of an FPGA.

Existing equipment on the test rig

Torque motor

  • Type: Kollmorgen AKM-65K
  • Operating Voltage: 400 VAC
  • Nom. Torque: 20 Nm
  • Max. Torque: 25 Nm
  • Speed @ Nom. Torque: 2000 RPM
  • Position Sensor: Absolute ecoder with 0.04° resolution

Hysteresis brake

  • Type: Magtrol HB-1750M-2
  • Nominal current: 500 mA
  • Min. torque @ rated current: 12.36 Nm
  • Max. speed: 6000 RPM
  • Nominal power: 350 W / 1200 W (5 min.)

Measuring and control system

  • Type: National Instruments cRIO-9038
  • OS: Echtzeitbetriebssystem
  • FPGA: Kintex-7-160T
  • Modules:
    • 16 channel, 16 bit, 100 kS/s/ch ADC
    • 8 channel temperature measuring module
    • Multifunction module (AI/AO/DIO)
    • 4 channel relay module
    • 4 channel RS485/RS422 serial module

Sensor technology

  • Torque sensor: HBM T22 50 Nm
  • Vibration sensors:
    • Kistler 4-channel LabAmp amplifier
    • Kistler 50 g K-Shear accelerometers
  • Power sensors: Hall effect LEM @ 50 kHz
  • Other: Temperature, humidity

Unmanned Systems

Unmanned ground and aerial vehicles (UGV/UAV) are already used for many different purposes. Not only for military forces, but also for public authorities and organisations dealing with civil protection and for monitoring tasks they became an important working aid.

The research about unmanned vehicles unifies many topics that belong to the core competencies of the institute: robust control of such a high dynamic system, the problem of localization and navigation, integrating unmanned vehicles in the public airspace and human-machine-interaction with respect to aviation.

As demonstrators two ground and several flying vehicles have been built and successfully tested. The quad-rotors have the capability to take off and land, to hover and to follow a predefined trajectory autonomously. They are used for research on cooperative control of swarms and collision-free navigation in unknown environment.

Concurrent Engineering Lab@TU Darmstadt

With the Concurrent Engineering Lab@TU Darmstadt (CEL), the FSR has a modern facility in which complex technical systems can be developed using methods of Concurrent Engineering & Digital Engineering.

The CEL was established in 2019 in cooperation between the FSR and the European Space Agency ESA within the framework of the initiative “ESA_LAB@” as a joint research laboratory, in which concurrent engineering is carried out on the one hand for the analysis and evaluation of new strategic areas with regard to ground segment and operations and on the other hand for research programmes of all faculties of the TU Darmstadt as well as for practical experience of the students.

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