Quadcopters: From System Modeling to Real-Time Simulator

Presenter: John Straetmans, Computer Engineering Student, University of Michigan

This project attempts to build an accurate real-time (RT) drone simulator through the full integration of a 1D functional model of a drone created in Altair Activate®, along with its corresponding geometry, into Unreal Engine via the Functional Mock-up Interface (FMI) standard. Then, VR, peripheral controllers, and other functionalities were added to the representation. This task was accomplished by modifying the Altair RT Vehicle Package, making it able to handle not just vehicles, but any system model located in an FMU for co-simulation, in this case a quadcopter model. Once the FMU containing the Altair Activate® drone model was successfully loaded into Unreal Engine, the tools provided by the application allow additional features to be added, such as VR support. By implementing an FMU, together with its geometry, into Unreal Engine, we can visually analyze the dynamics of the system to further verify the drone model and its performance. In the future, this integration process should be facilitated to automatically load any FMU following just a few steps.
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