Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Today's military simulation displays more compact and cost effective

Posted by John McHale

I had a discussion recently on military simulation displays with Jay Luis, director of marketing communications for Barco Simulation in Xenia, Ohio. The focus was technology and market trends in simulation displays

Luis told me that today's displays are not only are more cost-effective, but the performance and sharpness of the imagery has improved tremendously as well.

"Today's visual display systems used for military simulation and training are more compact, produce higher quality images, are easier to operate and maintain, are easily scaled, and are more cost-effective than the technologies of only a few years ago," he said.

What defense simulation customers want is more accurate flight training, Luis continued.

"They are looking for visual systems that provide greater detail for target imagery -- both air and ground," he explains. "Increased image fidelity yields enhanced aircrew visual acuity. Now the challenge becomes how to capitalize on that capability -- how to keep up with the multi-million pixel output of today's image generators and to project images that look just as real as possible."

In other words with "minimal latency or artifacts," Luis added.

Luis said Barco's new SIM 7 projection system provides that improved capability. "It's perfect for fast jet applications" with its smear reduction capability that enables the SIM-7 to maintain the sharpness of fast-moving images, he noted.

SIM 7 also takes part in "Barco's new CD series cross-cockpit collimated display solution," Luis said. The CD series offers improved display performance over the traditional cross-cockpit systems, he explained. It "consists of an advanced collimating mirror design, a projector platform, a back-projection screen, and a light-tight enclosure," he added.

Luis then went on to talk about the next advance in projection capability -- Liquid Crystal on Silicone or LCoS.

"LCoS has the capacity to match image generator output, giving aircrews incredibly realistic visual images, whether that is terrain, sky images, or ground and airborne targets," he said. "In general, LCoS projection technology is a good bet to have a huge impact in the simulation industry."

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