The Desdemona: a unique motion platform

Advanced simulation for motion critical training.

Immersive motion simulation is the primary product of Desdemona BV. On this fundament, courseware is developed for simulator training, with partners and domain experts. Together with the Centre of Man in Aviation (Royal Netherlands Air Force), several courses have been developed for military aircrew. With the Netherlands Institute for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) we focus on perception and human factors research.

  • centrifuge, < 3.3 G
  • linear track, < 8 m
  • vertical track, < 2 m
  • roll, unlimited
  • yaw, unlimited
  • pitch, unlimited

The Desdemona motion platform is unique in the world. It combines a centrifuge design for G-loading with 5 additional degrees-of-freedom. Making it the ideal simulator for motion critical training scenario’s.

Cougar AS-532 crew training

Flying a Cougar safely in critical environments depends on crew coordination and sensitive decisions of both pilots and the loadmaster. To support training of the pilot flying, and his crew, the Desdemona motion simulator is coupled in real-time to different loadmaster cabin simulators (both mock-up and Virtual Reality solutions). Training scenarios include bowl landings, pinnacle approaches, brownout/whiteout landings and adverse weather conditions. Key learning points, for both pilots and loadmaster, concern susceptibility to Spatial Disorientation in those scenarios. It is not just the pilot that is susceptible to disorientation; so is his crew!

Motion simulation for military driving

For the Royal Netherlands Army, advanced motion simulation has been investigated for driving under armour in difficult off-road conditions. The motion solutions include one-to-one terrain simulation, and make use of high-fidelity vehicle models. Based on the results several simulation solutions have been developed for the Boxer (four axle) and CV90 vehicle (tracked). These solutions are now being used for human factors and HMI research by TNO and the RNLA in Desdemona.

Spatial Disorientation training

In this training course the potentially dangerous effects of Spatial Disorientation are demonstrated in the motion simulator during short scenario’s. It is an essential course for both student pilots and experienced pilots. In contrast to the type specific courses, this training focusses entirely on “pilot perception in flight” and not on procedures and piloting skills.

Unrecognized Spatial Disorientation often leads to loss-of-control, and is still one of the leading causes of aircraft accidents, both in civil and military aviation. The training course makes pilots aware of the conditions (motion, weather, terrain) that can potentially lead to Spatial Disorientation.

The Spatial Disorientation cours consists of a theoretical part (to explain the limitations of the human perception system) and a demonstration part in the Desdemona simulator. Depending on the background of the pilots, civil or military, different disorientation effects are demonstrated, such as:

  • somatogyral illusion (graveyard spin)
  • somatogravic illusion in go-around
  • subthreshold motion (e.g. roll)
  • flying brown-out conditions
  • flying adverse weather in the mountains
  • flying valley landings
  • flying on NVG’s