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U.S. Air Force - Test Pilot School

Test Pilot School Avionics Familiarization Simulator

The USAF Test Pilot School (TPS) at Edwards AFB requested the development of a portable simulator system to teach current and advanced avionics concepts to its students. It required the use of radar ground map and targeting pod infrared imagery simulation to prepare the TPS students for flying the next generation of USAF fighter aircraft.

The simulator system we delivered is based on ZedaSoft’s Container-Based Architecture (CBA® for Simulation), which is a patented, object-oriented Java-based simulation framework. The CBA architecture allows the TPS students to quickly observe the avionics capabilities of different generations of aircraft by instantaneously switching from one aircraft type to another in the same scenario. These observations are valuable in teaching workload management techniques to new TPS candidates. The Portable Simulator Desktop (PSD) includes a 24” touch-screen virtual instrument display, four 24” monitors for out-the-window viewing, a sensor channel, hands-on-controls, and all necessary computers housed in a single rolling case.

The delivered simulator included a 4-channel MetaVRTM Virtual Reality Scene GeneratorTM (VRSGTM) image generator system for the out-the-window-view, radar ground map, and EO sensor simulation. This simulator takes advantage of the improved sensor generation capability available in VRSG version 5.

An Adacel eSRS voice recognition system is integrated and used to demonstrate advanced voice command interfaces like the one being proposed for the F-35 Lightning II fighter.

An InterSense IS-900 head-tracking system is used to demonstrate helmet-mounted display cueing similar to the helmet being retrofitted into the F-16 aircraft. As originally delivered the HMD symbology was rendered directly in the IG channels and moved based on the pilot's tracked head position. This capability was later extended so the HMD symbology could be rendered either directly in the IG or in a physical HMD.

NASA's Highway-In-The-Sky software is integrated into the simulator to demonstrate advanced navigational aids. This symbology is rendered directly in the IG channels.

Two types of hands-on control grips were integrated into the system. Low-cost Thrustmaster HOTAS Cougar F-16 grips are used to demonstrate F-16 functions. F-22 grips from MSITM are used with the F-15 and F-22 presentations. CBA's plug-in extensible device integration framework allows both grips to communicate with any flyable entity in the system.

AIM-9 L/M Seeker Head Upgrade to Avionics Familiarization Simulator

In March 2009 ZedaSoft added an AIM-9 L/M seeker head simulation to the USAF Test Pilot School PSD. This seeker head simulation is implemented using more sophisticated algorithms to determine how the seeker tracks the simulated target, and includes total and instantaneous FOV limits for the seeker head and representative seeker audio. By incorporating the higher fidelity seeker head in the F-15, F-16 and F-22 simulations, the resulting symbology on the HUD and FCR is more representative for the aircraft intercept.


Helmet-Mounted Display Upgrade to USAF Test Pilot School’s Avionics Familiarization Simulator

In May 2010 ZedaSoft delivered a Helmet Mounted Display (HMD) upgrade to USAF Test Pilot School PSD. The HMD upgrade used an NVIS nVisorST see-through helmet-mounted display design with a 40 degree vertical field-of-view that simulates the field-of-view of monocular J/HMCS designs as well as the binocular design used in the Joint Strike Fighter cockpit. ZedaSoft integrated this HMD with the original InterSense IS-900 head tracker system. The HMD symbology was modified so it could be rendered either directly in the IG or in the HMD. When rendered in the HMD the symbology can be optionally combined with simulated NVG imagery generated by one of the MetaVR VRSG channels.