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Vertical Motion Simulator

Vertical Motion Simulator (VMS) tower top view with timelapse

The Vertical Motion Simulator (VMS) complex is an important national resource that supports many of the country’s most sophisticated aerospace research and development programs. Its motion base has the largest vertical displacement of any simulator in the world, allowing the VMS to provide the highest level of motion fidelity available in the simulation community.

Housed in a ten-story tower, the large amplitude motion system allows the simulator to travel up to 60 feet vertically and 40 feet laterally. The simulator operates with three translational degrees of freedom (vertical, lateral, and longitudinal) and three rotational degrees of freedom (pitch, roll, and yaw), and it can perform at maximum capability in all axes simultaneously.

The operational efficiency of the laboratory is enhanced by the Interchangeable Cab (ICAB) system, which consists of five different interchangeable and completely customizable cabs. The flexibility of the ICAB system allows the VMS to simulate any type of vehicle, whether it is already in existence or merely in the conceptual phase. Each ICAB is customized, configured, and tested at a fixed-base development station, after which it is either used in-place for a simulation at one of the VMS’s fixed-base labs or moved onto the motion platform.