Department Safety Critical Systems & Systems Engineering

Research Activities

VFW 614 ATTAS (Advanced Technologies Testing Aircraft System)
System simulator ATTAS (Advanced Technilogies Testing Aircraft System)
System simulator FHS (Flying Helicopter Simulator)
Head-up display testing and flight evaluation
Display of cockpit instruments using 2Indicate
The department Simulation Technologies is responsible for safe and reliable operation of all on-board computer systems installed within the flying test bed ATTAS (Advanced Technology Testing Aircraft System) as well as the ground based system simulators for ATTAS and FHS (Flying Helicopter Simulator). Hence permanent system development and temporary integration of experimental equipment of varying internal and external experimenters are necessary.

The departments’ activities enclose the entire spectrum of conception, development, certification, assembly, integration and flight test of complex mechanic and electronic components, special devices and systems.

Flying test bed ATTAS

The flying test bed VFW614 ATTAS is in operation at DLR since 1985. Due to its very comprehensive equipment it can be used for multiple purpose applications in aviation. The electronic flight control system developed and operated in the department offers flexible opportunities to control the aircraft motion. A special safety concept certified by the German Federal Office of Civil Aviation allows experimental flight tests including touchdowns while uncertified experimental software is utilized.

It is of vital relevance for the effective use of the test bed that experts of the Department take care of challenging flight experiments with the engagement of the electronic flight control system. Hereby special software tools in connection with automatic code generation are applied, which are specific to the complex requirements of ATTAS.

System simulators ATTAS and FHS

The ground based system simulators were custom-built for flight test preparation of ATTAS and FHS. They represent the system characteristics of both highly complex flight vehicles and simulate the situation concerning software and hardware properties in flight. This is to optimize the effectiveness of the very expensive flight experiments.

Besides the use for special flight test preparation, both ground based simulators are also used in further research fields, such as human machine interface or the evaluation of active flight controls devices.

Core Competences

The department has the following core competences:

  • Hardware-in-the-Loop Simulation – conception, development and operation of simulation facilities
  • Software development process – flexible implementation of software on real time systems, using classic programming languages or tool based code generators
  • System integration – construction, certification and integration of hardware components used in flying test beds
  • Visualization techniques – development of data bases for different simulation facilities, development and utilization of software package 2Indicate for flexible visualization of technical processes, especially cockpit displays
  • Flight control technologies – further development of model following systems for fixed and rotary wing flight vehicles and their use in in-flight simulation projects
  • Human Machine Interface – evaluation of different simulation platforms regarding of human behavior
  • Flight testing – preparation, performance and analysis of flight experiments

Promoting young scientists

Members of the department attend student research projects and diploma theses and lecture at universities. The application-orientated research with real test aircraft gives an excellent basis for a successful start into professional life.

Holger Spangenberg
German Aerospace Center

Institute of Flight Systems
, Safe Systems and Software Engineering
Tel: +49 531 295-2637

Fax: +49 531 295-2845

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