Virtual Weapons Training

December 1, 2005 By: Stephanie vL Henkel, Sensors Sensors

Simulation is now the favored way to train military personnel on the use of sophisticated weapons systems. The benefits are intuitively obvious—but what kind of software can handle such a complex assignment? One answer comes from KUKA, best known for its industrial robots.

The U.S. Navy has chosen KUKA's VxWin software as the basis for its SLBM (submarine-launched ballistic missile) training system. The VxWin-based simulator runs the same software as the actual weapons system, and provides realistic and deterministic behavior data. Using a single computer reduces hardware requirements, system size, and cost, while improving the effectiveness of the training program.

The system provides a real-time simulation of the weapons systems deployed aboard the SSBN class of submarines, which can carry 24 ballistic missiles and accurately deliver them to targets anywhere in the world. Both existing and new personnel will train on these launch systems.

VxWin enables the coexistence of COTS Wind River VxWorks and Microsoft Windows XP on one processor. The trick is to divide the PC memory so that each OS executes in separated and protected memory areas.

No modifications are made to either OS, allowing developers to take advantage of previous experience and existing code while maintaining maximum flexibility.

KUKA is a Microsoft Gold Level Windows Embedded Partner and a Wind River Platform Partner, opening up applications in the aerospace, automation, medical, and test and measurement markets in addition to the defense arena.

Application-specific development is enhanced with support for the Eclipse-based development environment as well as the Wind River Diab C/C++ compiler suite and the legacy GNU compiler.

Contact Ernie Rankin, The Rankin Group, Tustin, CA; 408-425-5025,

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