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HiDef Flight Sims

by Ward Carroll on June 8, 2009

Our friend, DT contributor and crusty aviation gumshoe Bob Cox has a great story running on Military​.com today about the Air Force’s high speed new flight sims.

L-3 Link Simulation and training has developed the SimuSphere that improves on the visuals and computing speed of current sims to make images at near visual quality, or 20–40, Cox reports. He said it looks like Luke Skywalker plinking wamp rats in his T-16 back home (or flying the thunder run down into the Death Star’s power core).

Link’s new simulation systems incorporate the latest developments in high-definition video, off-the-shelf digital imaging technology developed for animation and gaming, and a “physics-based environment generator” that allows creation of up to 30,000 interactive images in a single simulation.

The simulation is driven by dozens of networked PC-type computers made from readily available commercial components, such as Intel dual core processors and $400 graphics cards, installed in industrial quality cases with greater cooling capacity.

The end result is video imaging that is of 20–40 visual acuity, only a little less than perfect eyesight. Previous generations of simulators were no better than 20–80. Schaefer says the only thing preventing even better images is that existing projectors cannot yet generate 20–20 images at jet aircraft speeds.

“A lot of our competition, you can see a piece of that technology, but they can’t deliver the whole package,” Schaefer said.

Read the rest of the story here and be sure to watch the vid…

— Christian

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Drake1 June 8, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Imagine taking this approach to provide 180 field of view to unmanned pilots, to alleviate spatial awareness problems.

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bdwilcox June 8, 2009 at 5:48 pm

I could be wrong, but it looked like it was doing real-time ray-tracing instead of Phong or Gouraud shading. Very impressive stuff.

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Mystick June 8, 2009 at 9:37 pm

I do miss Falcon 4.0… and nothing else has come down the pipeline since to compare… In fact, I can’t remember any combat flight sims coming out since, really.

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Wamprat June 9, 2009 at 8:33 am

Does it do carrier landings?

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gsak June 10, 2009 at 10:23 am

bdwilcox, are you an old POVRay modeler or demo coder or something? :)
Actually, I was going to say that (based on the F-16 object) it looks like it is lacking decent dynamic lighting.

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