Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Aeroworks and Outerra

This blog post will be about our recent visit of AeroWorks team at Brno University of Technology in Brno, Czech Republic. These guys are working on SimStar project, a light aircraft simulator based on the cockpit section of Evektor SportStar aircraft.

Presentation photo, the space is actually jammed with stuff as anyone would expect

They were interested to use Outerra as one of the image generators that could be plugged in. We liked that idea as well, so ultimately we packed our stuff and went on a trip to Brno, which is just some 125km from our HQ in Bratislava.

The project is being led by Peter Chudy who is coaching a few enthusiastic students working on related diploma theses with goal of enhancing the simulator. He is also ensuring that everything in this unique academic project goes right, undertaking all the necessary chores and dealing with all companies that might help to advance it. Peter is quite dedicated kind of guy who constantly fires jokes intermixed with questions caring whether we like the project. Nevertheless, or maybe thanks to that, he was nicknamed "Mr.Horrible", not just for forcing people to take off their shoes

Mr.Horrible ready to take off in Outerra

Approaching Airport2. Displays are not yet interconnected with Outerra, but otherwise they function just fine.
There were some issues with joystick detection and behavior, and we had to fix the blocking ones directly in place to be able to test the simulator. We still have to adjust the profiles for individual axes to get a more realistic behavior.

The canvas has resolution of 1024x768 pixels which is quite low, the overall feeling will be even better when the projector is upgraded.

Here's also a video montage of initial testing with Outerra as a visualizer. Because of the joystick issues the aircraft control was very clunky. But as a first test it was overall success, all the issues will be dealt with in coming time.

For further steps we'll need to design a protocol for interconnecting all the components of the simulation, or to find a standard one that will suit our respective needs. One of the possibilities is CIGI from Boeing, but its design is somewhat old and doesn't entirely fit our architecture. If anyone knows about other possible standards that we might consider for the job, please let us know.

Forum topic for discussion.


Andrej said...

Once upon a time there was a company in Trencin, SK that made custom simulators for air force / commercial pilots training. AFAIK it was based on Silicon Graphics. Maybe there is someone who knows something about their hw/sw protocol.

NouberNou said...

Not entirely related to sw/hw integration, but for inter-simulation integration do you plan to implement HLA (High Level Architecture)? Seeing Outerra used as a low level engine for more complex simulation systems on top of it using HLA would be amazing, and open a whole world of possibilities. ;)