CAD develops periscope simulator


Cybicom Atlas Defence, working together with the South African Navy, has developed a new periscope simulator system for the Navy.

The simulator is used to train submariners in the use of the Zeiss Sero 400 attack periscope of the SA Navy’s Heroine class Type 209 submarines. It provides accurate simulation of the use of the periscope in acquiring and tracking different targets – ships, aircraft or even a person in the water – in daylight, at night and in a range of different difficult weather conditions: high sea states, rain, fog and various degrees of cloud cover among them, as well as the effect of spray as a submarine moves through the water. It can also be programmed to incorporate sun- and moon-rise and set, and phases of the moon.

The simulator system comprises a replica of the attack periscope, suspended from the ceiling of the training room, with the same controls, motion and functionality of the real unit, and an instructor work station. Exercises are planned and controlled by the instructor from that work station, which provides a view of what the student sees through the periscope and information on what the student is doing, and also allows the instructor to inject changes in the tactical situation and to modify weather conditions or the sea state as they might change during an engagement in a particular stretch of sea.

The imagery injected into the periscope for a training exercise can include coastlines and the usual coastal features, such as lighthouses and beacons, and targets such as various types of ship as well as patrol aircraft and anti-submarine helicopters.

The simulator has been designed as a modular system using generic electronic modules and is software-controlled, allowing it to match developments on the actual periscope, and to be expanded to link with other simulators in a wider training system.

Helicopter flight deck trainer

Cybicom Atlas Defence has developed a helicopter flight deck training simulator to provide a safe and cost-effective means of training flight deck personnel. The system is aimed at navies and coast guards as well as companies operating offshore platforms, with motion simulation and the graphics adapted to suit the particular requirement.

It combines commercial motion tracking hardware and custom-developed gesture recognition software into a flexible, modular system that can be tailored to meet specific needs. A basic version can be supplied as a simple, portable desktop trainer, while a top-end version could be a multi-channel system that accommodates multiple trainees and provides full 360° high-fidelity simulation. It can also be expanded to include other training aspects, such as flight deck officer (FDO) training, and can be integrated with a bridge simulator to provide full team training.

The HFTD can be configured to have the simulated helicopter automatically responds to the signals of the flight deck controller, or can be provided with an electronic helicopter software model operated by an instructor or a helicopter pilot to introduce a human factor. It can also be integrated with a helicopter simulator, to combine the training of flight deck controllers and helicopter crews.

The imagery allows replication of different weather conditions and sea states, time of day and different types of helicopter as well as background imagery such as a coastline or other ships in the area, as well as all deck markings and lights. The motion tracking software allows for the movement of the controller on the flight deck, adapting the imagery to his point of view.

Submarine engineering test bed

Cybicom Atlas Defence has developed a submarine combat information centre engineering test bed (ETB) for the South African Navy. The ETB comprises a mock-up of the operations room of an SA Navy Heroine class Type 209 submarine, five high-fidelity replicas of ISUS-90-45 multi-function consoles, an integrated periscope simulator also developed by CAD, and the associated electronics and signal processing hardware. The ETB is a dual-purpose system that can be configured for training or system development.

In its system development role, the ETB provides a platform for further development of the system and for the trial integration of new equipment without taking a submarine out of its operations cycle for that purpose. The ETB is designed with this role specifically in mind and uses reconfigurable faceplates, server-based application software and off-the-shelf networks to facilitate reconfiguration to different layouts or to incorporate new equipment or systems to be tested and evaluated.

Configured for training, it functions as a submarine operations room team trainer that allows the captain, the navigation and weapons officers, and the various system operators to practice as a team and to refine their standard operating procedures and drills, with no risk to the ship and without the cost of going to sea. The ETB has already been used as part of the training of new submarine captains for the SA Navy.

The instructors can present various tactical scenarios and monitor and record how the team handles them, with a replay function that allows the team to analyse and refine their performance. The instructor work area has a 15-cell display matrix with selectable video and audio to allow focused monitoring of the action in the operations room without disturbing the team’s functioning.