Project Video

Project Description

The purpose of the Space Flight Simulator project is to expose students to STEM related fields through the theme of space flight. Using a full-motion flight simulator and custom space mission adventure, we aim to teach students about space exploration and fuel their interest in STEM. We hope to create a memorable experience for users that is both entertaining and educational.

We are using a MaxFlight FS 2000 roller coaster simulator, a full 2-axis 360-degree motion simulator, as the platform for this project. The MaxFlight simulator also features a 1080p HD projection screen, premium 5.1 surround sound, and fans that simulate wind in the riders' faces. While the simulator is capable of thrilling, adrenaline-enducing speed, safe fun is the top priority and there are numerous and redundant features to ensure the safety of the riders and operators. The simulator includes emergency stop buttons both inside and outside the cabin. If either button is pressed, the ride immediately shuts down, and is reset to allow the riders to exit the cabin. Furthermore, the simulator has multiple sensors, including lift sensors and seat belt sensors, that must be set for the ride to begin and run, else the ride is stopped.

To create a memorable experience, we have developed a one-of-a-kind space game that uses a joystick to allow the riders to pilot the simulation. The space game has the riders take their ship on a mineral collection mission through the galaxy. While on this mission, the user faces many challenges that require quick piloting and space combat skills to allow them to succeed.

To control the MaxFlight's motion, the space game sends the ship's pitch and roll angle information via UDP that custom translational software receives and decodes. It then re-encondes this data in the format used by the original MaxFlight motor controller software, and sends this data at regular intervals to the motor controller, which moves the machine to the target position in order to match the motion of the game.

The project will be presented to students with the help of the Challenger Learning Center of Northern Nevada. In conjunction with their Be The Astronaut program, the Space Flight Simulator project will be placed in the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada for public enjoyment.

Meet the Team

Person 1

Austin Bachman

CSE Senior, UNR

Person 2

Sven Diaz-Juarez

CSE Senior, UNR

Person 3

Jacob Lee

CSE Senior, UNR

Person 4

Jervyn Suguitan

CSE Senior, UNR


Person 5

Dr. Sergio Dascalu


Person 6

Devrin Lee



Person 7

Alex Redei

PhD Candidate
UNR CSE Department

Person 8

Dr. Fred Harris

UNR CSE Department

Person 9

Brian Ludwig

Software Architect
MD Labs

Project-Related Resources

Alexandre Swann's Website

Alex Swann completed a similar project where he built a custom motor controller for a MaxFlight VR2002.

Unity 3D Game Development Book

Unity 3D Game Development by Example Beginner's Guide
by Ryan Henson Creighton

XSimulator Forums

Dedicated to the development of motion simulator platforms and games, this site is a wealth of relevant information.

PID Controllers IEEE Paper

PID control system analysis, design, and technology
by Kiam Heong Ang, G. Chong, and Yun Li

Project Documentation