Fighter jet training dome shows 360-degree view

Oct 16, 2011 by Nancy Owano report
RP-360 dome: 360° immersive dome setup for flight training

(PhysOrg.com) -- The word "simulation" can never be taken lightly in preparing fighter-jet pilots for combat. Training needs to provide simulated experiences that can bring the pilot closer to the scenarios to come. That requires state of the art systems including state of the art visuals. A new immersive 360-degree flight simulator from Barco has been introduced as an important step up in flight training.

The Barco R-360 flight simulation dome is introduced by the company as the first to give trainee a full unobstructed of the world.

That view is via thirteen or fourteen 10 megapixel projectors. These projectors bathe the structure in light. Lasers are used to calibrate the projectors. The trainee pilot inside the dome experiences the virtual flight with the benefit of having a 360 degree, unobstructed view of surroundings. Pilots can look in any direction to find the resolution is so good that they can spot aircraft from 12 miles away.

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“If a pilot has a cockpit where he can see 360 degrees, he also needs to be trained in a system which supplies 360 degrees; all deviation from real life can be dangerous," said Geert Matthys, Barco research and development manager.

To simulate night flights as part of training, Barco's projectors can display images in infrared. Wearing night vision goggles, pilots can see halo and blooming effects.

The simulator is for use with several pilots working together to play out complex training missions, such as mid-air refueling, and can also be used to train pilots for solo sorties.

Barco product details include 10-megapizel projectors with DynaColor (automatic color calibration across channels); brightness equalization across channels; edge blending for one seamless composite image; and warping (precise geometry correction for curved surfaces). The dome's screens carry a special coating to raise the quality of the images. The sphere shape is intended to provide the pilot with constant eye relief.

The company describes itself as specialists in "large-format projection technology." Barco's dome took several years of work. The dome's development team started up in 2009.

Barco’s dome is now carrying a clear message on launch that the simulator is not just another new version but the start of what Matthys calls “a new generation” of simulators.

”We take care of the reflections in such a way that the system contrast is kept to a high level and this, in combination with high resolution and high brightness over 360 degrees, is a breakthrough in the industry."

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More information: www.barco.com/en/product/2337

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kaasinees
1 / 5 (1) Oct 16, 2011
pretty cool invention but not that impressive
bugmenot23
5 / 5 (1) Oct 16, 2011
Let them upgrade it to 3d display. That will really be something.
OvertOddity
not rated yet Oct 16, 2011
What cockpit allows an unobstructed 360° view anyway?
nanotech_republika_pl
not rated yet Oct 16, 2011
"The sphere shape is intended to provide the pilot with constant eye relief."

More like a constant eye strain on a 7-ft distant image projection. You can't relieve that without 3D technology.
kaasinees
1 / 5 (1) Oct 16, 2011
What cockpit allows an unobstructed 360 view anyway?


A 360 degree view cockpit perhaps?
Husky
5 / 5 (1) Oct 16, 2011
some droolworthy tool for sim enthusiasts, too expensive for chrismass present i am afraid
Nyloc
5 / 5 (1) Oct 16, 2011
Drone Control
Put this technology together with drone control and you've got something amazing! Imagine having live video feeds fro 14 cameras on a drone and being the 'pilot' controlling it. THAT would be stunning.
Jaeherys
not rated yet Oct 16, 2011
This kind of simulator cannot be underestimated. The ability for a fighter pilot to be able to know whats happening all around their plane is so important. Radar only help up to a point but in close combat the eye is required and this will really boost the realism of preparing for those scenarios. This also adds in the ability for learning how to determine friend from foe that much easier.

If you have a few jets around you and in one location your wingman is having a dog fight with another jet, it is imperative that you are able to recognise who that is. This type of simulator, with its high resolution projectors, will help fighter pilots practice those kinds of scenarios more closly to reality.

3D would help but it is not that important in this type of training. Its more about the skills acquired/practice that is important.
Nerdyguy
3 / 5 (3) Oct 16, 2011
What cockpit allows an unobstructed 360 view anyway?


A 360 degree view cockpit perhaps?


There aren't any. Not even close. In fact, the trend in recent decades has been to rely more on video camera input via the helmet. Of course, with that technology you can provide any simulated view you desire.

And, btw, traditional "dogfights" are all but a thing of the past. Long rang missiles have made dogfighting obsolete. That, and the fact that in the last 30 years the U.S. Air Force has blown the hell out of any enemy's opposing force to such an extent that the enemy's planes rarely get off the ground.
Jaeherys
5 / 5 (2) Oct 16, 2011
@Nerdyguy

Go tell the air force instructors that a dogfight is a thing of the past and see the answer you get. Fighter pilots still must undergo close combat training and it is a large part of the overall course.

http://en.wikiped...euvering
Skultch
5 / 5 (2) Oct 16, 2011
Long rang missiles have made dogfighting obsolete.


I think China's stealth fighters will have something to say about that.
ppnlppnl
5 / 5 (2) Oct 16, 2011
Does 3d make any sense with everything at optical infinity anyway?
Quarl
5 / 5 (1) Oct 16, 2011

And, btw, traditional "dogfights" are all but a thing of the past. Long rang missiles have made dogfighting obsolete. That, and the fact that in the last 30 years the U.S. Air Force has blown the hell out of any enemy's opposing force to such an extent that the enemy's planes rarely get off the ground.


If that were truly the case then why go through the expense and weight penalty of a gun at all? I seem to remember the dogfight being called a thing of the past when the F-4 Phantom II and the F-14 Tomcat were introduced; both were initially delivered without guns. Real life however made them add guns very quickly.
astro_optics
1.5 / 5 (2) Oct 16, 2011
Cool but Stupid, could have been done more efficiently with direct to eye projection!
PhotonX
not rated yet Oct 16, 2011
More like a constant eye strain on a 7-ft distant image projection. You can't relieve that without 3D technology.


This may be an absurdly thing for me to say, but anyway... Is that really true? I mean, while I agreed at first, I find myself wondering. Say we have a small window with a horizon view, and beneath it an ultra-high resolution monitor (or vice versa). Assuming the camera is slaved to move with the viewer, to account for the lateral shifts we make when guaging distances, how does the eye know it is focusing on the monitor as opposed to the window? If the view shows, say, a cow in the distance, how do we tell which is the real cow?
.-
Edit: I suppose there would be depth-of-view clues in close, but I don't think that's relevant for jet pilots.
bredmond
not rated yet Oct 16, 2011
Anyway, I want one of these for Christmas. And if it could do Gerwalk mode and Valkrye mode, that would just be it for me.
maccaroo
not rated yet Oct 17, 2011
Very useful for close formation training, where visual cues trump radar.
moosefoot
not rated yet Oct 17, 2011
As somebody already pointed out, dogfighting was thought to be a thing of the pass with the advent of BVR missiles. But later it turned out BVR missiles were notoriously unreliable and that pilots often would find themselves in a dogfighting scenario anyway. Which is why the SFTI (Top Gun) school was created, and DACT became a standard procedure. And why guns are still in fighter aircraft.
antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (1) Oct 17, 2011
With the advent of drones (that can potentially fly at much higher g-forces and therefore are easily able to outmaneuver any human piloted craft) dogfighting will be even less of an issue.

This company should start thinking about moving to another sector. Pilot training may very soon be a thing of the past.

People who are into gaming should eat this stuff up, though.
moosefoot
5 / 5 (2) Oct 17, 2011
With the advent of drones [...]
Pilot training may very soon be a thing of the past.


While I agree with the assessment that drones will probably rule the sky militarily, alongside 6th generation piloted combat aircraft, they will probably still need somebody to pilot them remotely in certain situations where a hypothesized AI is insufficient to determine the most suitable course of action. As far as airline operations go, that will probably be the norm, and thus still warrant some sort of aviator training. Apart from that, keep in mind that flying is also a hobby and leisure pilots will still be around for ages to come, so flight sims in the future won't necessarily be all about gamers.
COCO
2 / 5 (1) Oct 17, 2011
talk about an anacronisym - fighter pilots have/will go the way of the dodo - maybe some app for commercial but suggest put money into dog training - as my aviation engineer nephew told me all new air buses will only need one pilot and one dog. The dog is to bite the pilot if he touches anything.
Ricochet
not rated yet Oct 17, 2011
With the advent of drones (that can potentially fly at much higher g-forces and therefore are easily able to outmaneuver any human piloted craft) dogfighting will be even less of an issue.

This company should start thinking about moving to another sector. Pilot training may very soon be a thing of the past.

People who are into gaming should eat this stuff up, though.

Right. Let's just send our pilots in unprepared for adverse situations, to assure the enemy, whoever that happens to be at the time, can overpower us. Great plan. Oh, and there's no chance that they'll have their own drones... Not that they'd be actually programmed to shoot down anything but OUR drones, of course... No chance they'd be throwing weapons at our live fighters...
Shall I go on?
antialias_physorg
1 / 5 (1) Oct 17, 2011
Shall I go on?

Yep. The US isn't anywhere near where any other country with aircraft (save for Mexico or Canada) could attack them with fighter planes.

If the US were to stop waging wars all over the globe for who-knows-what purpose they wouldn't need a single fighter airplane. (The US is certainly not in it for peace or democracy...if that were so then the record of attacked countries that now have peace or democracy is abysmal)
Ricochet
not rated yet Oct 17, 2011
I didn't say who was attacking who... Also, with exception to a few instances, we were usually helping to defend an ally.
As for the distance problem, that's becoming a null point quickly, as propulsion systems are developing to a point where distance will not be much of a factor, if any.
Nerdyguy
not rated yet Oct 17, 2011
RE: dogfighting. Lots of misinformed responses on here. One clarification - I was specifically referring to head-to-head dogfighting via turret guns, which is clearly a thing of the past.

Yes, it's true that over the years many attempts have been made to remove turret guns. It's also true that some reactionaries have always insisted the gun was a good idea and some have been instrumental in having these antiquated weapons added back in. If you think the Air Force puts guns on F22s because they actually expect pilots fall in behind enemy aircraft and actually "shoot" at them, you need to do some more research.
Skultch
not rated yet Oct 17, 2011
If you think the Air Force puts guns on F22s because they actually expect pilots fall in behind enemy aircraft and actually "shoot" at them, you need to do some more research.


I think China's stealth fighters will have something to say about that.
Nerdyguy
not rated yet Oct 18, 2011
If you think the Air Force puts guns on F22s because they actually expect pilots fall in behind enemy aircraft and actually "shoot" at them, you need to do some more research.


I think China's stealth fighters will have something to say about that.


2nd time you've made this oblique comment. Do you have anything insightful to add? Again, neither China nor any other country is going to engage a Mach 2 fighter at gun-range. Might want to educate yourself before posting.
Skultch
not rated yet Oct 18, 2011
If you think the Air Force puts guns on F22s because they actually expect pilots fall in behind enemy aircraft and actually "shoot" at them, you need to do some more research.


I think China's stealth fighters will have something to say about that.


2nd time you've made this oblique comment. Do you have anything insightful to add? Again, neither China nor any other country is going to engage a Mach 2 fighter at gun-range. Might want to educate yourself before posting.


My comment is still valid.

If AA can't see em, fighters will have to engage them. The other fighters won't be able to use their missiles, no? What's left?
NotAsleep
not rated yet Oct 18, 2011
Skultch, why do you think other fighters won't be able to use their missiles? There are different levels of "stealth", all of which can be defeated. The US has had years to think about this.

In regards to drones ruling the skies: drone signals can get jammed. Right now, they're preprogrammed to take a particular action when jammed and it ISN'T an offensive action. We will always have need for pilots at the stick

Skultch
not rated yet Oct 19, 2011
Skultch, why do you think other fighters won't be able to use their missiles? There are different levels of "stealth", all of which can be defeated. The US has had years to think about this.


Stealth defeats radar guided missiles, but if they are using heat seeking missils, I would still consider that dogfighting, since I assume they would have to visually ID the target before firing.
NotAsleep
5 / 5 (1) Oct 19, 2011
Stealth aids in defeating radar guided missiles although it cannot comletely eliminate the radar signature. The better "stealth" is applied, the better it can defeat radar. On the flip side, a very sophisticated radar system increases the chances of finding stealth jets
Skultch
5 / 5 (1) Oct 19, 2011
I was in the Army, not the Air Force. :)
NotAsleep
Oct 19, 2011
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Skultch
not rated yet Oct 19, 2011
So, and Airman, a Private, and a Marine walk into the bathroom..... Heard that one? :)
Ricochet
not rated yet Oct 21, 2011
Stealth aids in defeating radar guided missiles although it cannot comletely eliminate the radar signature. The better "stealth" is applied, the better it can defeat radar. On the flip side, a very sophisticated radar system increases the chances of finding stealth jets

You mean like, say... AWACS? Perhaps?
http://www.boeing...dex.html
NotAsleep
not rated yet Oct 21, 2011
Perhaps, although I'd rather not get into the discussion of what constitutes a "sophisticated radar system". PhysOrg admins deleted an earlier comment where I said I was Air Force on the grounds that it was "off topic". This is confusing, since it would convey that I'm somewhat of a subject matter expert in the area of fighter jets and simulators.

However, it also means I tend to steer clear of the blurry lines of sensitive information. If you want to learn more about radars, join the Air Force!
Ricochet
not rated yet Oct 21, 2011
PhysOrg admins deleted an earlier comment where I said I was Air Force on the grounds that it was "off topic".

Perhaps if you didn't quote someone in it they took it as out-of-context... As for joining the Air Force, I'm a bit too old and unealthy to even consider active duty.
cacciato
not rated yet Nov 28, 2011
NerdyGuy you are way off base, there are valid reasons why fighter pilots are still trained to dogfight, and why jets are designed with features for superior maneuverability in dogfights.

Yes, dogfights would be a rarer scenario in modern air combat Tthey were already very rare in Vietnam, but they did occur, to the surprise of the American military who already made the same assumption that they were a thing of the past. You do not ignore potential scenarios where dogfights would occur, even if they are rare. In doing so, you give an edge and more options to your enemy.