Thales has its fingers in a lot of areas of the training and simulation world, but is especially strong in helicopter simulators, with big new wins in Australia in co-operation with Boeing. At last year’s I/ITSEC, it decided to make a push to try to integrate its helicopter and land warrior simulation solutions to create a more compelling and integrated virtual constructive platform. While the company did not announce any significant design wins in this area this year, it did provide a nice demo of the capabilities, with the goal of announcing something soon.
Thales wrapped its demo around the idea of creating a virtual training center and it did this using a computer generated virtual world of this center using the outside facade of one of its actual building as the starting point.
The first stop is ground school where students can learn about vehicle maintenance in an instructor-led environment or at their own pace. Next comes medium fidelity helicopter simulation capability that features flat panels for the visuals and touch screens for the control surfaces. We asked why the company uses touch screens in the simulator when the actual platforms still have buttons and knobs. The answer is cost and flexibility. With touch panel control surfaces the training center can emulate a Chinook helicopter one day and a different helicopter for the next training session.
This training facility can also house full flight simulators. These are the Reality H simulators for helicopters that the Australian Navy and Army aviators will be using for training.
On the land side, there is a virtual shooting range with instrumented guns that can measure trigger pressure, shoulder pressure, aim and results – all to be used to improve technique and marksmanship.
Finally, Thales showed how it simulates land vehicles using three desktop workstations with multiple monitors – one for the driver, gunner and commander.
The key point of all these capabilities is the integration of them into a simulated battle with all of these assets – including others like fast jet simulators, aerial refuelling and more.