Cranfield Simulation can provide technology, design, manufacture and integrate complete simulation solutions specific to your requirements.
Unique, sustained g-cueing | Avoids washout or negative cues | High accuracy, low latency feedback | Fully immersive driver training solutions | The most advanced simulator motion systems | Designed and built in the UK | Sold worldwide
Derived from over 30 years experience in the aerospace industry
Cranfield Simulation is the only provider of simulators capable of providing the sensation of sustained motion. Cranfield’s unique experience and technology provides high fidelity motion cues with low latency and with no maximum duration.
With four modules of motion technology, our highly accurate and almost instantaneous systems provide an incredibly realistic driving sensation.
Vehicle to road interface providing movements and cues for added immersion.
Cranfield g-Cueing has been developed over a period of 30 years and utilises technology from our aerospace solutions.
With 4 modules of motion technology operating in 11 dof across all 6 axes, the highly accurate and almost instantaneous system provides an incredibly realistic driving sensation.
Our simulators have been designed with flexibility in mind, and with so many different options available it is possible to configure your simulator to suit your exact requirements. Whether it is a standard hatchback for road car training, an off road 4x4 vehicle or a 200+ mph formula track car; anything is possible.
With the vehicle type established you can add on our motion cueing modules, each of which add futher to the immersion. You can add on as many as you wish and each module can be retrofitted at a later date.
Tailored Simulation Solutions
Our simulators are highly customisable and can be tailored to suit your own requirements whether it is for a professional environment or home entertainment.
Choose from a selection of different chassis, steering wheels, pedals, motion systems and visual options. You can also choose from a range of external paint colours and schemes, as well as interior trim choices including your own name or logo embroidered into the head rest to really make it your own.
Real Motorsport Controls
With our links to many top motorsport component manufacturers, we supply all of our simulators with real motorsport controls including steering wheels, pedals, gear shifters and chassis that we adapt in house for simulation use. We also have the capability to convert customer supplied controls and chassis.
This allows us to recreate the exact same environment for drivers, allowing them to familiarise themselves with the controls, seating positions and feel of the real vehicle from within the simulator.
CRANFIELD MOTION MODULES
In each corner of the platform a linear actuator is fitted to simulate a typical suspension arrangement of a spring and shock absorber.
Working independently or simultaneously the actuators translate the surface of the track from each wheel, fed from the simulation software to the simulator in a fast and precise manner.
The actuators can pitch the simulator forwards and backwards to simulate acceleration and braking as well as from side to side body roll. With acceleration of up to 1G and nearly 200kg max weight per actuator the system can provide a highly accurate representation of the road surface.
In a real car, accelerations are transmitted to the driver through the seat. As the largest surface area that the body is in contact with, reproducing the same sensations in the simulator is highly important in training and implementing correct car control. Within the lining of the seat and belts we fit our unique pneumatic pressure modules to provide sustained g-cueing. Multiple airbags expand and contract to provide localised and sustained pressure, simulating the g-forces felt when cornering, braking and accelerating.
The technology has been derived from our wealth of experience within the aerospace industry and is unique to Cranfield.
This system can be retrofitted into many types of seat, therefore existing simulators can also receive the benefits of Cranfield technology. The low mass of the pneumatic system also means that it can be added to existing weight sensitive motion platforms such as 6-Dof systems without degradation in performance.
The Proportional Rapid Onset (PRO) System allows the seat itself to move independently of the other simulator modules. Situated on an X, Y, Z table, the seat movements can accurately replicate very minor and fast movements that cannot be produced by the main suspension platforms.
For example, in the vertical plane the driver eye height can be moved downwards in the cockpit upon braking which is typically what happens in a real life scenario, partically in faster formula vehicles where the body is compressed. It can also be used to replicate very quick accelerations whether laterally or longitudinally.
The yaw platform is situated at the base of the simulator and is used to simulate lateral movements of the rear end of the vehicle. This is necessary to feel the limits of traction of the rear tyres, which cannot be achieved by solely depending on the visual system. It is only with a good yaw motion system that a driver can consistently drive right at the edge of the tyre grip limits.
Transitioning from one corner to the next is also felt through this module particularly, for example, driving through high speed chicanes.
REAL CAR SIMULATOR CONVERSIONS
Our engineers have the ability to convert real vehicles (and their parts) into fully working simulators whether it is a complete race car that is to be decommissioned or simply a spare race chassis. Our team has the expertise to utilise the existing control systems and dashboards in the vehicle or we can supply simulator specific components which are often comprised of real motorsport parts. This means that the seating position, the feel of the controls and environment are 100% accurate to the car when on the track.
We also have the ability to convert vehicles into having a dual purpose; a fully working car with the ability to be used as a simulator. Often it is possible to switch between either application within half a day making this a highly cost effective, simple and accurate solution.
CRANFIELD SIMULATION - INNOVATIVE DESIGN
With a combination of innovative hardware design and advanced algorithms, the Cranfield system creates the sensation of acceleration in a compact, lightweight, inexpensive and energy efficient package. It provides high-fidelity g-cues indefinitely which cannot be achieved with any other system.
Our full motion system has a footprint of approximately just 1.8m x 2m and can be powered by a single mains supply socket.
Cranfield Simulation products are in use by teams in Formula 1 as well as many other manufacturers, driver training centres and individuals across the globe.
TRADITIONAL METHODS OF SIMULATING MOTION
With a traditional motion platform, a period of deceleration is required following an acceleration cue (washout). In order to avoid a miscue and/or motion sickness, the deceleration has to be conducted at a rate that is undetectable by the user. This drastically increases the necessary room required to correctly simulate accelerations associated with high performance vehicles.
A high speed corner such as the Parabolica at Monza creates around an average of 3g for 6 seconds in an F1 car. Using kinematic equations of motion, it is possible to calculate it would require a staggering 529.74m of travel to generate this in physical lateral movement for the period of acceleration and deceleration required. This feat is only possible with a huge floorspace by moving the simulator on extremely long rails powered by large and expensive motors. The platform would also have to return to the centre position in time to simulate the next corner of the circuit slowly without generating any negative cues for the user.
The most common motion solution is the 6-DoF platform, also known as the ‘hexapod’. These systems are highly suitable for applications such as civil aircraft simulation where slow movements of pitch, roll and heave are of high priority but very little lateral or longitudinal motion is required. In motorsport simulation the exact opposite of this is true. For this reason, excessive roll and/or pitch is sometimes used to utilise the earth’s gravitational pull to add further to the feeling of lateral and longitudinal acceleration. This can be a cause of motion sickness to some users as balance is affected.
Laser Scanned Tracks
Laser scanning circuits enables exact reproductions of track surfaces and track side objects within the simulated environment regardless of complexity and size. Laser scanning is the most precise method of recreating 3D digital representations of the circuit. The sub millimeter accuracy is the reason this method of detail capture is used by all top tier race series including Formula 1. We have an extensive database of tracks from across the globe. By driving many laps on the simulator, learning every bump, turn, kerb and gradient for each circuit saves many hours of real testing and track familiarisation. We also have many of the smaller test tracks which is perfect to make the most of your next real test session.
Accurate Car Models
The software physics engine has been developed with practical knowledge acquired from working closely with the elite of motorsport in order to engineer the highest accuracy in physics and a highly connected feel to the cars and the road. All vehicles have been reproduced with the maximum attention to detail in order to provide a unique and highly accurate driving sensation as verified by many of the world’s top race drivers.
We have many realistic car models from a wide range of racing series including, F1, F2, GP 3, F3, F4, Formula E, LMP1, LMP2, LMP3, GT 3, GT 4, GT Open, Renault Sport BTCC plus many more including historic cars.
The setups of the cars are as they would be in real life and the simulator reacts in accordance to changes you make in the software.
If you would prefer to use your own software, our motion technology is also compatible with all leading simulation packages including: rFactor, rF2, rFactor Pro, Assetto Corsa, iRacing, Project CARS, Codemasters F1, Automobilista and many others.
We are also able to create solutions to provide communication between your own custom simulation software and our motion systems.