VT MÄK, a developer of simulation and training tools using realistic 3D simulated environments, has announced that it has created a virtual swarm of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) using the company’s VR-Forces scenario generation engine. The UAV swarm was modelled inside a simulated Hawaii environment, to illustrate how virtual environments can be used to study concepts of operation and tactics development for unmanned vehicles.
The VR-Forces software modelled each UAV with a chaotic flight plan to mimic a human operator flying by radio control. The swarm flew over a simulated area populated by character models created with DI-Guy, VT MÄK’s human simulation tool. In addition to vehicles and terrain, VR-Forces can also simulate weapons and communications systems, with extra tools available for daylight, electro-optical, night vision, and infrared sensor feeds, as well as Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images that see through atmosphere
This exercise highlighted how scripting and artificial intelligence can work together within a virtual environment to create scenarios for analysis, test & evaluation, or demonstration.
In addition to the UAV swarm, MÄK also built a simulation to demonstrate the use of a ground control station (GCS) within a virtual environment. This demonstration was composed of three parts: a UAV simulation constructed with VR-Forces, a sensor simulation built with MÄK’s VR-Vantage image generation software, and a very simple GCS application, built using a GUI development framework from MÄK’s partner DiSTI.
The UAV simulation modelled the unmanned vehicle’s autonomous navigation and accepted control messages up-linked from the ground station to control the flight and sensor pointing angles. The sensor simulation used the vehicle’s position and sensor pointing angles to render a full motion video of the virtual environment, modelling daylight, night vision, and infrared sensors. The life-like video stream was down-linked back to the GCS along with telemetry metadata.
This system could be tailored to feed simulated video to real ground control stations or used as a testbed for experiments with UAV operations.
A video of VT MÄK’s simulated UAV swarm can be seen below.