General Question TASM Space-Shuttle Refurbish

urbanjude

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Hey Everyone!

My name is Jude and I am a senior at The University of Tulsa studying electrical engineering. For my senior project, we're refurbishing a space-shuttle simulator at Tulsa Air and Space Museum for kiddos, set to open in May.

The experience will last somewhere between one to two minutes.
The majority of engineering work will be spent accomplishing the following:

- modify the flight time to be approximately one minute
- modify aircraft control by disabling the yaw (and maybe roll)
- interface with external components such as joysticks, cabin lights, speakers, motors, etc

Because of the strict deadline in May, I am hesitant to dive into the Orbiter only to find that it won't not work for the museum's needs. Will Orbiter be adequate for what we need?

Thank you so much!

PS Any advice you have for me is much appreciated!!
 

Urwumpe

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Well, if somebody works full-time on it, doing it with Orbiter until May could work. The key question would be: How much hardware should be connected, that Orbiter doesn't really care about? joysticks is less of a problem than motors.
 

dbeachy1

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Speaking as a software engineer by profession, four months is very little time to design, implement, and polish a brand-new project from the ground up, particularly when interfacing with custom hardware. The best thing I can suggest is playing around with Orbiter yourself and seeing if that can meet your needs. Implementing custom behavior for Orbiter via a custom module is a lot of work, particularly with a four-month fixed deadline, and especially if first learning Orbiter at the same time.
 

4throck

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Having "one minute flight time" is a problem because Orbiter is based on real physics.
You'd need to make the Earth smaller, or time run faster, or the shuttle lighter in order to achieve that...

As for actual flying, you only control the landing, the rest is pretty much autopilot....
So I'd focus on that (landing situations) with the shuttle starting about 30 seconds from touchdown.

For the ascent you can just play an edited video of the main highlights (ignition, SRB separation, tank jettison), killing idle time.

Hope it helps!
 

Urwumpe

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Speaking as a software engineer by profession, four months is very little time to design, implement, and polish a brand-new project from the ground up, particularly when interfacing with custom hardware. The best thing I can suggest is playing around with Orbiter yourself and seeing if that can meet your needs. Implementing custom behavior for Orbiter via a custom module is a lot of work, particularly with a four-month fixed deadline, and especially if first learning Orbiter at the same time.

As I see this, its three 4-week sprints to get ahead, with january being sprint zero. That CAN be enough. If you keep the scope as low as possible.

Maybe the MVP would already be playing the Default Atlantis of Orbiter in a fixed simulator cabin. That kind of prototype can already be achieved before the first sprint.
 

dbeachy1

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Spoken like some upper management the development teams I've been on has worked under all too often over the years, lol.

In any case, best of luck on your project, @urbanjude!
 
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