Servos & Simulation provides several options for software to our customers. These include maintenance software, motion record and playback for entertainment rides, Host Interface software and Precision Control Software. We can provide a custom software solution for our customers for all of our motion base platform product line.
Our maintenance software that is included with the purchase of our control computer allows the user to check the motion base platform for functionality. It allows the user to move and calibrate the system for checkout. It is also useful for recalibration if components have been replaced.
Our record and playback software that is an optional package allows the user to record joystick inputs from the user to be played back by the motion base platform. This is useful for making the motion base platform payback a ride profile for a movie. This can also be used to record a certain movement criteria and to play it back indefinitely for testing of equipment on the motion base platform.
Syncing of the playback to the movie via STMPE code is available. This software can be purchase and used on any other motion base type or on one of our older systems.
Our host interface software that is an optional package allows the user to talk to the motion base platform computer via Ethernet. The Host sends the motion base platform computer the information on the position it would like the motion base platform to go to and the software performs the math model necessary to perform the request. The software also informs the Host if there is an E-STOP or a fault with the system.
The Host Interface software is UDP ethernet communication software between the motion base computer and a “Host” computer. The software sends and receives data packets between the computers. The software then translates the data to move the base. The Host computer and software is provided by the customer. The software charge does not include the computer. This is not a hardware host interface. The hardware host interface is ethernet and is included with the computer as standard equipment.
Servos and Simulation’s engineers have designed, programmed, and tested precision software to control our motion base platforms. Since there is no closed form solution to a non-linear Steward Motion Platform, a specially designed math model was developed to take the commanded roll, pitch, yaw, X (longitude), Y (lateral), and Z (vertical) commands from the host computer and sends control signals to each of the six non-linear actuators on the motion base to instruct the motion base to accurately follow the commands. The software takes care of all the non-linearities of the cranks and pushrods. In addition, the software allows the center of the moving platform coordinate system to be moved anywhere. For example, the center of the moving platform coordinate system can be moved 20 inches above the center of the moving platform, and roll and pitch will be centered about this new coordinate center in such applications for aircraft pilot feel and realism or off the nose in missile testing scenarios. With customization, the software can determine the location of a point(s) on a Unit Under Test in free space such as in antenna testing.
As part of the Precision Control Software, Servos and Simulation’s engineers have also developed a Dynamic Software Evaluator package that reads the feedback pots from each of the six actuators and calculates the roll, pitch, yaw, X, Y, and Z position of the motion base platform. The roll, pitch, yaw, X, Y, and Z positions can be sent to the host computer so that the host computer knows exactly where the moving platform of the motion base is at any time. The Control Software has an iteration rate or 1KHz, but the host can send data anywhere from 200Hz up to the 1KHz. Typical bandwidth of the Control Software is around 3 to 5Hz.
A separate Server Module handles the exchange of data to and from the Host to the Precision Control Software. Through a special software command set, motion can be started or halted, communications turned off or on, moved to specific locations etc. via the Server Module. The Server Module is also responsible for reporting position data from the Dynamic Evaluator back to the Host.
These two software programs (Precision Controller and Dynamic Evaluator) are independent of each other but are memory mapped to work seamlessly between the Server Module, Precision Controller and Dynamic Evaluator. Either one can be used (with the Server Module) by itself or used together. As the Server Module is responsible for all communication, both software programs are completely unaware of user inputs and rely solely on inputs derived from Host communications.
Servos and Simulation’s engineers have designed, programmed, and tested Sea State software to control our motion base platforms. This software can perform Sea State level 6 as long as the motion base platform can perform to that specification. This software is used for testing the stability of modern transmitting/receiving equipment for seaboard use.