Service-oriented architectures for flight simulation: opportunities and challenges

Takeda, Kenji and Kenny, James (2008) Service-oriented architectures for flight simulation: opportunities and challenges. In, Expanding Horizons: Technology Advances in Flight Simulation, London, UK, May 2008. London, UK, Royal Aeronautical Society14pp, 1-14.


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There is a wide variety of scenarios that must be catered for in current and future flight simulation systems; from flight training devices, through to aircraft research and development, accident investigation and mission rehearsal. The development of distributed flight simulation systems has largely focused on coupling multiple simulator sessions in a common battle environment, using the High-Level Architecture (HLA) framework. This provides runtime interoperability, but relies on close-coupling between systems and a common runtime infrastructure. The HLA framework is implemented differently by different developers, so ultimately struggles to fulfill its purpose as an open standard. Service-oriented architectures (SOAs) could be the key to realizing these dreams of interoperability, because of the increased level of abstraction. In this paper a whole systems approach is discussed in the context of SOAs for flight simulation.

SOAs based on loosely-coupled services are described, that will allow customers in the future to aggregate services from multiple vendors and data sources in a coherent and cost-effective manner. The design and delivery of Web Services and Software + Services infrastructures for flight simulation are possible solutions that are described in detail; they will be discussed in terms of flexibility, interoperability, extensibility, and reusability. As examples, end-to-end simulation system workflows are described: from content creation, validation, and publication across organisations; to flight mission design, execution and debrief for single and many user scenarios. The postulation is put forward that such an ecosystem is necessary for the industry, to be able to effectively deliver value to customers in the future, as the commoditisation of data becomes more prevalent.

Lessons learned and future prospects, leveraging SOA research, development and deployment in the business domain, are highlighted. The technical and business opportunities and challenges facing the flight simulation industry, both from the customer and supplier viewpoints, will be discussed.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Related URLs:
Subjects: U Military Science > U Military Science (General)
T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Engineering Sciences > Aerodynamics & Flight Mechanics
ePrint ID: 64456
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
May 2008Published
Date Deposited: 24 Dec 2008
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:49

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