CLOSE AIR SOLUTIONS
Creating custom designs to simulate real life training environments for defence personnel
Close Air Solutions (CAS) is a Bristol based company that design and produce simulation equipment used for training defence and security personnel. They provide a range of simulation applications including software applications that integrate with replica military equipment to provide trainees with a realistic training environment.
Following on from the success of the IZLID project, CAS approached Cubik for support with the design and development of their latest piece of simulation equipment, the CAS – Emulated Advanced GPS Receiver (C-EAGR). Like the IZLID, the product design had to look and feel like the real-world device. It also had to have the ability to be fully integrated into their Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) and Joint Fires Observer (JFO) type simulators.
The C-EAGR has the same functions that are currently used by JTACs for positional information manipulation including:
- Continuous update of position on the present position screen.
- Ability to place in standby mode to manipulate positional data from the present position screen.
- Quick conversion between coordinate formats – MGRS, Lat Long (degrees minutes), Lat Long (degrees minutes’ seconds), Lat Long (degrees minutes’ decimal minutes).
- Quick conversion between elevation units (ft and m).
- Magnetic variation application from the world magnetic model.
- Ability to manually enter waypoints and store the waypoint list including editing names.
- Ability to compute range and bearing between waypoints and change angular units (mils degree).
- Fast Fix/Back/and Mark quick access from any page.
- Pos Page access from any page.
- Accurate representation of start-up, satellite search, and all waning messages associated with changing positional information.
Cubik developed an entirely custom design that replicated the real-world product and that would integrate with the CAS simulator environment. The electronic system combines a high-quality TFT screen with a membrane keypad to provide the user interface. Data to and from the simulator is provided by way of a USB connection which is also used to supply power for the C-EAGR.
A Microchip PIC provides USB interface at the C-EAGR and delivers all handshaking to and from the PC. The C-EAGR mounts as a Human Interface Device (HID) so that it does not require a special driver layer on the PC.
The enclosure closely replicates the original device. It has been manufactured using vacuum casting, a technique which allows low volume production of plastic enclosures without the costly injection mould tooling process.
Speaking about working with Cubik, CAS’s Senior Software Engineer, Jonathan Owen BEng EngD, said:
“Close Air Solutions are pleased to have been able to work with Cubik on this project. We particularly appreciated Cubik’s commitment, and ability, to meeting a tight deadline on a complex project.”
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