On September 1, 2021, SYMVIONICS, as partner in the Metis Flight Research Associates, LLC (MFRA) Joint Venture (JV), began on-site operations at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Langley Research Center (LaRC) Simulation Development and Analysis Branch (SDAB) of the Research Services Directorate (RSD), providing simulation and flight research support at the research and development facilities. MFRA is an unpopulated small business JV, comprised of Metis Technology Solutions as managing partner, Flight Research Associates, and SYMVIONICS.
The SDAB provides software and hardware services utilizing the unique national research and development facilities located at NASA LaRC. These facilities are dedicated to providing researchers with high-fidelity environments in which to conduct simulation and flight research and to advance the state-of-the-art of simulation technology. The Flight Simulation Facilities (FSF) are comprised of the computing systems including the Real-Time Computer Systems, Computer Image Generation Systems, Computer Graphics Generation Systems, and Real-Time Network Systems; and the Cockpit Motion Facility (CMF), Development and Test Simulator (DTS), and Test and Evaluation Simulator (TES). The CMF houses a state-of-the-art six-degree-of-freedom synergistic motion system, the Research Flight Deck (RFD) Simulator, the Integration Flight Deck (IFD) Simulator, the Generic Flight Deck (GFD) Simulator, and has space for an, as yet, undefined fourth simulator. All of the simulators in the CMF are capable of operating in a fixed-base mode or installed on the motion system. The FSF also include the Uninhabited Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration and Validation Laboratory (SIVL), Research and Collaboration Facility, Base Research Station (BRS) and System Integration Laboratory (SIL). The flight simulators provide real-time, high fidelity (Technology Readiness Level 6 to 7), full mission, human-in-the-loop and hardware-in-the-loop flight simulation environment and capabilities to conduct state-of-the-art, preeminent aerospace research.
In addition to the FSF, SDAB provides software and hardware development support to the research aircraft operated by the Research Services Directorate. These include the following aircrafts: Cirrus SR-22, LC40 Columbia 300, Gulfstream III, Dassault HU-25A, Beechcraft UC-12B, and Beechcraft B200. SDAB also provides development and flight tests support to UAS operations within and outside LaRC, such as the support for the City Environment Range Testing for Autonomous Integrated Navigation (CERTAIN) missions.