October 2008

Selective use under lab conditions

Simulators from Rheinmetall Defence for universal applications

Simulators can be deployed whatever the weather conditions, are available round the clock, spare the actual hardware concerned, are environmentally friendly and can prepare personnel for extreme situations that are virtually impossible to reproduce even during exercises. Simulation systems are therefore particularly useful where there is a need for realistic training of military and civil operators and operating crews to prepare them for operation on land, at sea and in the air. Moreover, simulators can be employed not only for the tactical training of military units and forces in complicated combat situations but also to prepare contingencies for peacekeeping missions.

Rheinmetall Defence is one of the world's leading suppliers and operators of simulation and training systems: services offered range from the training of special and/or infantry forces in urban operations in the Mout training center (Military Operations in Urban Terrain), to the Avior laser projection system which delivers unusually sharp contrast, a diverse range of colors, absolute color stability and constant color convergence making it ideal for pilot flight training, and the tactical training of submarine crews in recreated, full-scale submarine op-centers. Packed with state-of-the-art high technology, simulators from Rheinmetall Defence enable all sequences, motions and weapon effects to be fully and constantly controlled and influenced under conditions that are simulated extremely realistically. Recorded events can be reproduced and replayed at any time for evaluation and debriefing purposes.

Modern-day simulators are no longer limited to their original task as process trainers for instruction purposes. In fact, simulators are also used to assist system development in simultaneous engineering processes, allowing different components to be integrated optimally and tested under realistic conditions. For example, in the domain of Concept Development & Experimentation (CD&E), Rheinmetall Defence owns a fully functional system for testing network-enabled capabilities in a complex experimental environment: the NECLab. Here, in a context of virtual real-time simulation, the system recreates the required surroundings, enabling the behaviour of network-based solutions to be tested under highly realistic conditions: this greatly facilitates the process of concept development – prior to deciding whether or not to invest in new technology.

More than ever before, soldiers need to be prepared meticulously for the situations and tasks lying ahead of them. Aware of this need, Rheinmetall has prepared a mobile live simulation system enabling Special Forces and contingencies to practice how to fight.

Small, lightweight laser transmitters attached to hand-held weapons simulate live fire, automatically covering the entire application range of the simulated weapon, including the close-range which is particularly relevant for urban operations. To allow for the specific needs of sharp shooters, Rheinmetall has developed a two-way laser transmitter with evaluation of the target distance for simulation purposes. Maneuver ammunition (with safety maneuver cartridge device) is needed to fire the simulated shot: this forces participants to practise their combat behavior and allows integration in the logistics.

All the participants in a simulation process are equipped with laser transmitters using advanced short-range radio technology for detection of laser firing. Such extremely lightweight laser receivers attached to the original mission equipment allow intercommunication via radio. The receivers can therefore be affixed flexibly anywhere on the participant's body; wiring and cables which could restrict the participants' freedom of movement are no longer needed. The soldier is shown the latest hit information on a watch-like display. Power is supplied by a lithium battery with a life of about one year.

Combat in the urban terrain with mines, hand grenades and Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) can likewise be reproduced with simulators offering a realistic simulation of the threat scenarios and triggering the actions to be taken. Vehicles equipped with laser transmitters for weapon systems and radio-based laser receivers as target system equipment can also be included in combat action.

Systems for combat in and around buildings allow the detection of soldiers inside buildings and the transmission of such information to the control center as well as the display of weapon effects behind and through walls.

The simulation of weapon effects in situ is part of a three-part simulation system. A powerful, mobile data radio system links up with the control center using Tetra data radio communication. This data radio system is distinguished by its high and secure data transmission speed and its ability to communicate with a large number of possible participants in a small area so that their data are transmitted without delay to the center.

The control center in which the simulation process is controlled, monitored and recorded receives and transmits data via the mentioned Tetra data radio link. Conventional computers equipped with special software from Rheinmetall manage the data process. For fully mobile simulators, the control center can be accommodated in a cabin on a truck.

Thanks to the benefits of modern electronics and radio techniques, a flexible system is therefore available for live systems – perfectly suited both for mobile and stationary training applications.

In addition to its live simulators, Rheinmetall Defence also offers customized solutions for virtual firing and battlefield simulation, with systems ranging from driving and firing simulators for e.g. the M60 or Leopard 2 main battle tanks through to a training simulator for the new Puma infantry fighting vehicle.

TacSi, a tactical real-time training system, is another example of a virtual reality system with a dynamic simulation capability.

Realistic night vision

The Avior NTS (night training system) from Rheinmetall Defence is a unique training system for realistic night time simulation, offering numerous advantages for the training of aircraft crews in the military and civil sector.

Avior NTS enables the perfect simulation of typical night time visibility limitations, weather and light effects – the experience is fully comparable to real-world flight conditions. A big advantage here is that the flight crew can wear any standard pair of night vision goggles.

The visualization system in the Avior NTS consists of tried-and-tested components from the Avior laser family, the newly developed Avior VisIR (visual and infrared), and a highly advanced and trailblazing PC-based image generator, including a database system and a touchpad instructor operator station (IOS).

The functional principle of the visual system is as follows: two images generated by the same database are superimposed over one another. The night image visible to the human eye – also referred to as the out-of-the-window (OTW) image is superimposed by an IR image that is not visible. The IR image stimulates the original night-vision goggles. This process allows an extremely realistic reproduction of typical night time visibility, giving pilots a very real impression. Besides, this method of superimposing images enables the parallel and effective training because pilots are simultaneously given the realistic night time image and effects for the human eye and through the night-vision goggles – a fundamental requirement for an operational training.

The PC-based image generator (IG) and database system supply the basis for the terrain to be projected. Thanks to the use of satellite images, very detailed databases can be automatically generated from large terrain areas within very short periods of time. The instructor can introduce relevant scenarios for the pilot in real-time. Changes affecting e.g visibility, terrain data or light effects can be called at the press of a button in the Avior NTS. The modular design of the NTS system additionally permits the connection or inclusion of individual simulation components in existing flight simulation systems.

Using electrically generated and controlled pure laser light as the transmission medium for every single pixel and line directly onto the projection surface, Rheinmetall has brought an entirely new dimension to the world of projection systems.

Laser systems as purely digital solutions offer perfect imagery, are wear-free and are used very successfully for advanced applications. Laser technology offers unlimited focus depth, a considerable variety of colors, high brightness, excellent contrast and constant colour convergence throughout the entire life cycle, with a guaranteed technical availability of at least 15 years. Due to the separation of light source and projection, the controls and motion systems of the simulator only need to move the highly compact, small, light-weight projection head.

Simulation systems for naval and maritime training

Simulation systems from Rheinmetall Defence enjoy an excellent reputation worldwide. Along with the complete simulation centers, these include individual systems such as navigation and radar simulators, ship engine simulators and sonar and mine hunting simulators. Featuring a completely recreated ops-center, Rheinmetall Defence submarine simulators provide submarine crews in Europe and around the world with an extremely realistic training experience. Here, state-of-the-art computer technology reproduces a vast array of different environmental and operational variables, hence providing excellent training conditions.

Naval and maritime simulators from the simulation specialist in Bremen are operated on all continents, especially also in South East Asia where they are used by various forces. For example, the Royal Thai Naval Academy (RTNA) and the civil Merchant Marine Training Center in Bangkok (MMTC) use advanced simulation technology from Rheinmetall.

Rheinmetall delivered a full mission shiphandling simulator, equipped with integrated navigation systems (Navigation and Command System NACOS) and night vision components to the Naval Academy for the basic training of young naval officers; to this end, the simulator is equipped with the laser projection system Avior NV. This was the first shiphandling simulator in the world to be equipped with a night vision capability.

Moreover, the first maritime Integrated Simulation Center was set up for the MMTC in Thailand: equipped with a full mission shiphandling simulator consisting of two bridges, three radar cabins with external view function and a full mission ship engine simulator as well as a safety and security training.

Between 1994 and 2006, Rheinmetall Defence supplied sonar simulators, tactical trainers and submarine simulation systems to Singapore – another regular customer of Rheinmetall's advanced simulation technology. This is equally true for the Indonesian armed forces which have been using the advanced Action Speed Tactical Trainer to give staff officers tactical training since 2005.

The maritime shipping sector also relies heavily on Rheinmetall Defence as illustrated by the fact that not only the most important German training centers (e.g. in Flensburg, Warnemünde and Bremen) but also the most prestigious training facility of the Indonesian merchant navy use state-of-the-art simulation technology from the specialist in Bremen. Besides extensive laboratory equipment, the training center in Semarang has been fitted with simulation systems for training shiphandling, ship operation technology, communication, navigation and safety. The package is complemented by a CBT-package and the relevant courseware.

The Philippines, the most important market for seafarers, are another important customer of Rheinmetall. Amongst others, the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA) in San Narisco has been equipped with a complete simulation center consisting of a sophisticated shiphandling simulator with a main bridge, five cubicles, two ship engine simulators, a cargo handling simulator and a safety and security trainer from Bremen.

Rheinmetall AG

Corporate Sector Defence
Press and Information
Oliver Hoffmann
Rheinmetall Platz 1
40476 Düsseldorf
Germany
Phone: +49 211 473-4748
Fax: +49 211 473-4157