Servos & Simulation's Blog

The Motion Base Platform Requirement

Posted by Rachel Baker on Feb 6, 2017 5:44:08 PM

Why are motion base platforms required for flight simulation?

This was written by Mr. E Bruce Baker back in 1999. It was in response to customers questions about the use of motion for a aircraft trainer. Mr. Baker has over 50 years in the simulation industry and has integrated more than 300 systems in that time. He founded Servos & Simulation in 1981. This experience drives all of our designs for our customers.


Over the last several decades, there has been much discussion about the need for motion bases for aircraft simulators. Several times, an attempt has been made to prove or disprove the need for a motion base, and indeed, the need has been both proved an disproved. From all these studies and from personal experience, a few fundamental truths have emerged:

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Topics: motion control, flight simulator, motion base, frequency response of a motion base platform servo, motion platform software, full-flight training, motion platform

Why can't you build a 6DOF motion platform for $5k?

Posted by Rachel Baker on Feb 2, 2017 5:31:30 PM

By Rachel Baker and Rick MacLean

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Topics: motion control, control loader, flight simulator, simulation, motion platform software

Why are Motion Base Platforms Required in the Simulation Industry?

Posted by Rachel Baker on Jan 28, 2017 10:44:28 AM

Motion base platforms, wether they be two, three or six axis and more, have been apart of the simulation industry for a very long time. Longer than one might think... I decided to do some research on the industry that I have been apart of for almost 30 years and this is what I found.

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Topics: motion control, motion base platform, simulation, Insider

Why is Frequency Response of the Servo Critical to Motion Base Platform Design?

Posted by Rachel Baker on Jan 24, 2017 5:26:57 PM

Why is frequency response of a servo critial to motion base design? Why is it even required? The fact is, the better the frequency response of the servo, the better performance of the motion base platform. 

In the simpliest terms, the motion base must follow the input properly. So if the motion base is to follow the commands from a Host computer in a full-flight simulator, and the pilot response is about 2Hz or less, the motion base needs to have >5˚ at 2Hz of phase shift so that the motion base accurately tracks the signal from the Host Computer flight model. It is required as the phase loss of the motion base affects the stability of the pilot's control loop.

The Engineering Team at Servos & Simulation, Inc., analyzed the performance of one of our motion base designs. The plots for the performance show the maximum position as a function of frequency, the maximum velocities as a function of frequency, and the maximum accelerations as a function of frequency. The servo has an inner rate loop using the encoder on the motor for feedback allowing the servo to have a bandwidth of more than 40 Hz. The outer loop is a position loop with a bandwidth of 4 Hz. The position loop gain is limited by the gain available in the drive amplifier (power amplifier that drives the motor). Servos’ engineers add electronics to the servos and increase the gain by at least a factor of 4 which increases the position loop bandwidth to 16 Hz.

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Topics: motion control, frequency response of a motion base platform servo, motion platform software