Troy Johnson

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Martin R. Stytz, PhD


The Air Force is currently investigating the possibility of developing a manned vehicle capable of operating in space. This Military Spaceplane (MSP) will be capable of ascent to low-earth orbit and maneuvering while in orbit. The goal of this research involved creating the Virtual Spaceplane (VSP), a virtual environment (VE) simulator for the MSP. This thesis examines two ideas significant to virtual environments and cockpit design: multiple motion models and hypertext in a VE. Movement in a VE has traditionally been modeled using a single motion model. Little work has been done to allow a change of the motion model used during the simulation. This thesis suggests partitioning simulation entities into two sections: the geometry model and the propagation model. This approach is demonstrated in the VSP using multiple propagation models as it transitions from runway to orbit. This thesis also examines the use of hypertext within a VE. Hypertext has been shown useful for readers to quickly locate information. This thesis will discuss the integration of a hypertext interface into the VSP. The hypertext interface provides checklists, systems status, and consumables status. Hypertext provides the spaceplane pilot with an effective means of referencing large amounts of data.

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DTIC Accession Number