Flight Simulation Technology is Revolutionising Automotive Testing

Multi-axis simulation of road surfaces for static and dynamic testing has traditionally relied on complex mechanical assemblies comprised of X-Y tables and bell crank linkages.

Moog FCS, our business that focuses on simulation and testing systems, has a heritage of designing and building motion bases. These electric and hydraulic actuation systems are used for the highest qualified flight simulators in the most demanding man-rated environments. The 6 degrees-of-freedom [6 axes] motion base required for aircraft simulators uses the so-called “Stewart” platform as the most mechanically efficient solution for actuator connection. Also known as “Hexapods” they are now providing optimum motion control for a wide range of automotive testing applications.

Moog FCS Hexapods when used in automotive testing offer a number of key advantages. The compact mechanical design uses less floor space, which is an important cost savings in busy testing labs. The design also offers the maximum mechanical stiffness, which adds to controllability. The patented force-acceleration control loop used in the HexaTEST Servocontroller allows the operator to feel the real-time response of the test, increasing accuracy and speed of the testing process.

Moog FCS is developing, for a customer, a test rig for static testing of high performance vehicle suspensions. The solution uses a compact, independent Hexapod under each wheel to manipulate the suspension for measuring the kinematics and compliance [K&C] behaviour of the car. This is the first time an electric Hexapod has been applied to a K&C machine and will provide benefits to the customer in terms of reduced set up time, reduced facility requirements, greater operator safety and lower maintenance.

Author

Roy Park has over 30 years experience in engineering, marketing and management in the hydraulics industry including the past 23 years as Managing Director and Site Manager for Moog Australia. He has a B.E. honors degree in mechanical engineering from Monash University.

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