Motion Simulation Facility

The Motion Simulation Facility (MSF) consists of several interconnected segments which, when utilised together, provides the hardware in the loop simulation (HILS) capability within the Optronic Sensor Systems (OSS) research group of the CSIR.

The HILS capability presents a reduction in time and cost of the evaluation, testing and development of a device under test (DUT) due to the test being carried out in a controlled, high fidelity laboratory environment that allows for repeatability. There is a significant reduction in risk and mitigation, when compared to expensive flight trails. A simulation environment also allows for user defined test scenarios.

At the heart of the of the system is a 53NH-2 Contraves Goertz three degrees of freedom (DOF) flight motion simulator (FMS) and a ABB IRB 6650S-90/3.9 robot manipulator Target Motion Simulator (TMS).

The facility offers several capabilities which includes:

Directed Infrared Countermeasure (DIRCM) Effectiveness Evaluation

The effectiveness of a DIRCM system is influenced by the pointing and tracking stability, as well as the accuracy of the laser under dynamic conditions. The system allows for the evaluation of the tracking and pointing accuracy by simulating actual platform and target motion. In addition to evaluating the tracking and pointing performance, the effectiveness of modulation techniques of a laser source can be evaluated on captive missile seekers in a HILS evaluation with the addition of the Target Source Adaptor (TSA) to the TMS.


The exploitation of a missile seeker aims to determine the seeker performance and characteristics for the purpose of exploiting these parameters for the development of countermeasure techniques. The system allows for the integration of a missile seeker (DUT) of which the flight control signals are fed into a HILS control system for the control of the FMS. By doing this, the dynamic behaviour of the DUT can be evaluated under different scenario conditions.

Missile Flight Analysis

In support of the exploitation process, the missile flight analysis aims to investigate the dynamic flight parameters of a missile during flight.

Target Tracking Evaluation

The dynamic deterministic movement characteristics of the TMS and FMS allow for optical payloads, intended for airborne or naval platforms, to be mounted in order to study the underlying tracking and stability performance of these optical payloads under platform movement conditions.

Bi-Directional Reflection Distribution Function (BRDF) Measurements

The  movement accuracy of the TMS and FMS platforms allows for the precise and deterministic profiling of the BRDF of different surfaces when used in combination with a BRDF measurement block.

Inertial Navigation Unit (INU) Evaluation

TMS and FMS can be used to perform detailed INU evaluation and possibly calibration given a deterministic platform movement profile.

Infrared Countermeasure Effectiveness Evaluation

The addition of a TSA to the TMS allows for the evaluation of simulated infrared countermeasures against a captive missile seeker installed on the FMS in a HILS test.


Ryno van Staden