On November 18, 2020, SYMVIONICS employees received a NASA Group Achievement Award for outstanding construction and execution of a unique end-to-end simulation capability, providing a powerful test environment, paving the way for Urban Air Mobility research. SYMVIONICS, as a partner of the Metis Flight Research Associates, LLC (MFRA) Joint Venture.
As NASA leads the nation to open the new era of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) travel, the Urban Air Mobility Development Team made major contributions towards realizing this future concept by developing new vehicles and airspace simulation capabilities in anticipation of the need to effectively evaluate the unique capabilities and challenges that these new vehicles will present in the urban environment.
The team designed and developed two new UAM cab configurations for the NASA Ames Vertical Motion Simulator (VMS). The first cab focused on handling qualities and will enable the advanced evaluation of pilot control inputs (inceptors) and human-machine interfaces, allowing for a more intuitive approach to safe air taxis operations. The second cab focused on a novel design that immerses up to four passengers in realistic urban flight environments, enabling researchers to assess passenger acceptability for specific vehicle designs under the high-fidelity motion cues offered by the VMS. The team created a physics-based, generic quadcopter model for both cabs and generated a realistic San Francisco urban visual environment. The team was resolute in its response to the challenging tasks of developing and fabricating two new vehicle designs with an innovative new visual system, and successfully met an aggressive schedule of providing a demonstration to senior management while maintaining solid support of essential SimLabs operations.