Currently the task of designing a crewstation is a long and tedious process. In the past, a designer wishing to implement and test a crewstation concept first had to layout and analyze the design on paper. Then he turned the design over to simulation experts, software experts, technicians and perhaps machinists. If the design called for physical changes, workers had to retool the simulation cockpit and make the electrical and software changes - all by hand. If the design involves only cathode ray tube graphics, no physical retooling is necessary, but the new graphics software requires extensive programming and debugging time. Such processes take several weeks to months to accomplish. This time requirement would be a problem for any development, but the impact is worsened if the simulation and testing reveal that a redesign, even a minor one, is in order. An interactive process to fine-tune the design in extremely difficult under the dictated time requirements.
The objective of the Rapidly Reconfigurable Crewstation (RRC) Program is to radically impact this time delay (1). Specifically, the objective is to be able to create an entirely new crewstation, and fly it in a simulator, within one working day. The RRC Program has been in operation for three years. This paper will discuss RRC's overall system plan, specific examples of progress so far, and plans for the future.