HiDef Flight Sims

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

  • Drake1

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

  • bdwilcox

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

  • Mystick

    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.

  • Wamprat

    Does it do carrier landings?

  • gsak

    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.