Cabin Comfort and Environment Research Centre

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Cabin Comfort Environment Research Centre The facility is where aircraft cabin designs and airline cabin operations will be developed, refined and tested to improve revenues and lower costs for airlines. This living facility will accommodate people acting as cabin crew and passengers to help the aerospace industry understand the needs of those who take to the skies for work and travel.

Each of the following five research spaces plays a specific role in the facility check-in area, airport terminal gate, flexible cabin simulator, fuselage laboratory, human vibration laboratory.

As the name suggests, the check-in area is where people arrive to be processed before their participation in the study. The passengers and air crew will be checked in in a way which is similar to the airport ticketing process. After check-in, each person will be briefed to ensure they understand their role and rights as participants in a study. Once a person consents to participating a study may call for the person to: take a pre-arranged and pre-weighted carry-on luggage; be scanned in an NRC-developed 3D scanning process designed to obtain anthropometric and facial details, and/or physiological measurement system, such as a heart rate monitor.

After the check-in area, people may go to one or more of the other four research areas, depending on the study's design. Let's assume that the people will move towards the airport terminal gate. The airport terminal gate is a climate and lighting-controlled space consisting of washrooms ganged seating, TV displays, and flight information. The airport terminal gate can be changed into a lounge if necessary. It would consist of typical features found in airports, including wi-fi and powered connections.

From the airport, the passengers will board either a decommissioned fuselage, or an assembled cabin. In the fuselage laboratory, a decommissioned fuselage is used when the study requires a full-length cabin. The facility will have: vacuum waste, potable water, electrical power and ventilation systems to ensure that the cabin will be operated in a similar fashion as it is during flight.

In the future, with sufficient industry demand, the fuselage can be replaced with a motion platform for the complete flight experience without the cost of flying.

The Flexible Cabin Laboratory is the flagship laboratory of this facility. The lab will allow any cabin configuration, new or old, in sizes ranging up to a Boeing 777 or Airbus A330. The lab can accommodate up to 20 rows of seats at a 32-inch pitch. Passengers will board the aircraft in a way which is similar to the fuselage lab and will see the cabin as they would in a real aircraft. Temporary enclosed bridges will prevent passengers from seeing any equipment and wiring installed outside of the cabin. During flight there will be systems in place to recreate the cabin noise – ventilation, LED cabin lighting, wi-fi and in-flight entertainment and connectivity.

There will also be fully functional lavatories and galleys connected to aircraft power, vacuum, and potable water systems. 3D camera systems will be installed to record and track how passengers behave during a simulated flight. The cabin noise system recreates the cabin noise through an in-house designed vibration system that emits noise from the cabin panels. The cabin noise will be calibrated using microphones used to record noise in a real aircraft during flight.

All of the systems will be connected to a central data acquisition and control system located in an adjacent control room. From here, NRC staff will monitor the progress of each simulated flight. In special studies where vibration is a concern, the Human Vibration Laboratory will be used. The lab uses an in-house designed and built vibration platform that can create a wide range of frequencies in a climate and lighting-controlled environment. As one example, the platform will be used to evaluate seat comfort.

Work is already underway in developing the various systems that will be installed in the Flexible Cabin Laboratory. We have started with a used Airbus A320 cabin, but other cabins, new and old, will be supplied by our partners.

We look forward to working with you as NRC nears completion of this world class facility.

On screen: National Research Council Canada

On screen: Canada Wordmark

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