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ICT

Computer simulation

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A computer simulation is an application designed to imitate a real-life situation. A good example is software [software: a general term used to describe an application or a program ] which simulates the experience of piloting a plane.

Flight simulation software

Simple simulation software running on a PC offers the user entertainment and practice in simple controls and navigation.

In the exam you may be asked to provide an example of simulation and list its advantages and disadvantages.

View from flight sim cockpit, looking out to the city of London, the London Eye is in shot

A real-life flight simulator - used for training pilots - is far more sophisticated, and is very expensive.

The pilot sits inside a specially designed cockpit on hydraulically controlled struts which move the cockpit to give the feel of the pitch and roll of a real plane. Sensors [sensor: an automatic input device that continuously monitors a set of computer controlled parameters, eg a parking sensor detects how close a vehicle is to the nearest object and alerts the driver if the distance falls outside of the specified parameters ] detect the actions of the pilot and move the cockpit accordingly. The view from the cockpit window is replaced with computer generated images.

Flight simulators give trainee pilots experience of:

  • different flying conditions, eg poor weather, night flying
  • emergency situations, eg frozen runways, fog, engine failure
  • landing procedures and how they differ from airport to airport

Flight simulators are safe and cost effective too. No fuel is needed and there's no crew to pay, any damage to the plane is simulated, and the pilot is never at risk.

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