Daily News
by Gail Helmer

[ Send Us News | Archives ]

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

PC Game & Hardware News
Falcon V News Aplenty!
Just when you thought they were dead and gone, G2 Interactive's boney fingers have reached up from the grave and grabbed the ankles of hopeful combat simulation devotees the world o'er! In a back-dated press release on their website, the folks at G2 Interactive have announced that Falcon V: OIR is planned to go to Gold master by June 2003. In addition, they posted a screenshot of an A-10 cockpit:

Believe it or not! An A-10 from Falcon V.

Pack Yer Bags!
If that weren't enough, the G2 Interactive site also announced that the Force 12 Studios, Falcon V's development team, would be relocating to Seattle.

Website: G2 Interactive
Sure to be some animated discussions here: Frugalsworld

Strike Fighters Patch

Strike Fighers Patch Released!

A small 2.86 MB patch for Strike Fighters has been released.

Download: Strike Fighters Patch [2.86 MB] (click "Patches" in nav column)

Screenshots: Forgotten Battles
Four new screenshots to whet your appetite.

HOTAS Covers Giveaway

Win a set of HOTAS covers.

Entries will be recieved here until Sunday, February 9th. Winners will be drawn and announced on Monday February 10th. Winners will recieve one of four HOTAS Covers customized with their name or callsign embroidered on the throttle cover. The contest will run for two weeks only. Submit your name now to enter the random drawing.

Web Page: Contest Entry Form
Website: HOTAS Covers

NVIDIA Premieres Multimedia Player Demo
SANTA CLARA, CA—JANUARY 20, 2003—NVIDIA Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA), the worldwide leader in visual processing solutions, today announced the immediate availability of the international version of NVIDIA® NVDVD™2.0. With support for 14 separate languages and an extensive variety of digital media file formats, including DVD movies, music MP3s, AVI and MPEG2 video files and more, NVDVD 2.0 is the ultimate software player for today’s consumers who prefer to use a single application for all of their digital media.

NVIDIA's new media player.

Consumers can download a free, 14-day trial version of NVDVD 2.0, directly from www.nvidia.com. From the trial, consumers can directly purchase a fully localized version of NVDVD 2.0 for $39.95 USD—with support for 14 languages, including Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, Spanish, and Spanish (Latin America). To facilitate international sales, NVIDIA has developed an online ordering system that is fully localized in each respective language.

“As we move deeper into the world of consumer electronics, NVIDIA NVDVD software player plays a key role,” said Dan Vivoli, executive vice president of marketing at NVIDIA. “NVDVD is not only the ultimate software-based DVD player, it also functions as a MP3 player, Karaoke machine, digital photo slide show player, and more. With NVDVD running on their PC, users can now enjoy an unbelievable multimedia experience—on the road, at home, in a plane, or at their desks.”

Featuring a new, customizable user interface and incorporating a host of innovative and cool new features designed to bring more control to end users—including an advanced toolbar that offers additional playback functionality, including: subtitles, angle change, frame and audio capture, repeat modes, bookmarks and more—NVIDIA NVDVD 2.0 delivers the ultimate digital media experience on all PC platforms.

In addition to the new user interface, NVIDIA NVDVD unleashes a host of advanced features geared towards extending the DVD playback experience, including:
  • NVIDIA Sceneshare™ technology: NVIDIA Sceneshare technology extends the DVD experience by allowing users to bookmark their favorite movie scenes and easily share them with other NVDVD users. Users can send sceneshares to their friends via e-mail or post them for download.
  • Capture screenshots and audio clips: Movie images and audio clips are easily captured and integrated into Windows® backgrounds and themes, or shared via e-mail with one click of the mouse.
  • Bookmark movie clips: Designed for users who don’t have the time to watch a complete movie in one sitting, the Bookmark Browser allows for indexing of scenes for playback at a later time.
  • Create custom player skins: NVDVD allows users to control the look and feel of their playback environment by selecting from built-in skins or creating their own using NVIDIA skin architecture.
  • Play MP3s, photo slideshows and more: Not just for DVD playback, NVDVD is also a full-fledged media player and supports a wide variety of digital media formats.
  • Video on Desktop: NVDVD enables users to integrate DVD playback into their Windows wallpaper, while maintaining access to desktop icons and applications.
  • NVIDIA nView™ multi-display technology: Enabled only by NVIDIA GPUs, nView technology allows users with multiple monitors to playback DVDs on any screen at full acceleration.
  • Easy speaker set-up wizard and audio calibration: Take the guesswork out of complex audio set-ups to get a rich Dolby® Digital audio experience.
With support for Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, Dolby Pro Logic II and Dolby Headphone technology, NVIDIA NVDVD 2.0 heightens the overall playback experience by delivering impressive surround sound audio. NVIDIA NVDVD 2.0 is compatible with desktop and notebook PCs outfitted with Microsoft® DirectX®-compatible graphics processors, and can be plugged directly into Windows Media Player 9 series for use on Windows XP Media Center Edition multimedia PCs.

Website: NVIDIA

Tom's Hardware Compares Video Cards

Don't upgrade your entire system, get a sizzlin' vid card instead!

Got a relatively slow computer, but want to upgrade on a budget? Tom's Hardware has posted Part II of their "VGA Charts II" series. It's a veritable Baskin-Robbins of video card flavors as they take a look at 31 cards and how they perform on a slower system. They also explore how FSAA, anisotropic filtering, and a combination of both affect performance.

Website: Tom's Hardware

Quantum3D Supports NVIDIA Quadro FX GPU
(SAN JOSE, Calif.) -- Quantum3D, Inc., a leading provider of open architecture realtime 3D visual computing solutions for the Visual Simulation and Training (VST) and Embedded Visual Computing (EVC) markets, today announced its support for the new NVIDIA(R) Quadro(R) FX graphics processing unit (GPU) technology. Quantum3D will integrate the Quadro FX GPU technology into the company's range of open architecture image generator (IG) solutions for synthetic environment training applications.

Quantum3D to Employ NVIDIA's Latest GPU Technology in IG Solutions for Visual Simulation and Training Applications.

"With its industry leading rendering precision, vertex and pixel shader support, and performance capabilities, Quadro FX technology enables complete new classes of realtime graphics applications," said Ross Q. Smith, Quantum3D co-founder and executive vice president of business development and marketing. "By combining Quadro FX GPUs with our value added IG solutions, we will enable our training systems integrator and visualization customers to take advantage of this watershed achievement in graphics technology -- all while preserving their investment in Quantum3D hardware and software products as a result of NVIDIA's Unified Driver Architecture and our own efforts that ensure software compatibility between product generations."

Since 2001, Quantum3D has exclusively incorporated NVIDIA Quadro GPUs in the company's EVC and VST product lines. Over the past two years, Quantum3D has employed NVIDIA QuadroDCC and Quadro4 GPUs in the company's Graphite(TM), Obsidian(R) and Independence(R) open architecture IGs, which have been adopted by leading VST systems integrators, including J.F. Taylor, Lockheed Martin, Honda, Boeing and others for armor, driving, embedded training, flight simulation and mission rehearsal applications. Quantum3D IG solutions that feature Quadro FX GPU technology will be introduced over the next several months.

"Quantum3D does a great job of adding value to our core GPU technologies by tailoring solutions and providing detailed customer service for the vis-sim and embedded graphics markets," said Jeff Brown, director of workstation product management at NVIDIA. "We value Quantum3D's continued support and look forward to seeing the enhanced versions of their IGs that incorporate Quadro FX GPU technology."

Web site: Quantum 3D

Military News
Unmanned Firebee Delivers Payloads
(SAN DIEGO) Northrop Grumman Corporation's Integrated Systems sector has conducted the first flight demonstration of an unmanned air vehicle (UAV) system designed to employ a fully autonomous UAV to deliver a variety of payload packages to multiple, preprogrammed locations.

Developed and demonstrated within an eight-week period, the system is derived from the highly successful, reliable BQM-34 Firebee aerial target. The 36-minute flight, conducted Dec. 20, 2002, at an undisclosed Department of Defense test range, demonstrated autonomous navigation, payload carriage and payload deployment followed by successful recovery of the air vehicle.

"This project demonstrated both the versatility of the BQM-34 airframe and the fast reaction development capability in place at the company's Unmanned Systems facility in San Diego," said Al Nikolaus, Northrop Grumman's Firebee program manager.

"This was a team effort, integrating Firebee parts from all three military services built over a period of 30 years plus newly manufactured parts and modern, autonomous navigation systems," said Doug Fronius, Northrop Grumman's director for Targets programs.

Northrop Grumman recently demonstrated a new payload delivery system with a modified BQM-34 Firebee aerial target. Following the successful ground launch shown here, the air vehicle flew a 36-minute mission autonomously demonstrating its ability to deliver a variety of payloads from two wing-mounted pods to multiple preprogrammed locations on the ground. The vehicle was successfully recovered following the test's conclusion.

The project was developed at the Integrated Systems sector's Unmanned Systems unit in San Diego. System modifications included integrating 1970s-era AQM-34L bomb rack-equipped wings with BQM-34S Firebee targets currently produced. Large composite payload pods manufactured for Northrop Grumman by Grove Aircraft, El Cajon, Calif., were designed and integrated onto the air vehicle. In addition, a portable range safety flight termination system was integrated to allow system testing at a non-target test range facility.

Software was modified to provide fully autonomous mission capability, payload deployment and ground control station integration. Finally, the system was tested "end to end" at the program's system integration center facility here.

The BQM-34 Firebee is a high-performance unmanned aircraft that has a proven track record in a wide variety of special operations and target configurations. The robust design has been readily modified many times over the years to support both ground and air launch mission requirements.

Website: Northrup Grumman

Predator Gets Advanced Antenna
(ATLANTA) EMS Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:ELMG) announced today that its Space & Technology Group has received a contract from L-3 Communications West to develop a beam-switching network in support of a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program to demonstrate an advanced datalink on the U.S. Air Force's Predator unmanned air vehicle.

Predator gets advanced datalink.

L-3's Tactical Common Datalink (TCDL), an advanced datalink system, will incorporate an EMS beam-switching network and is scheduled to be installed and flight tested on a Predator UAV in late summer of 2003. The EMS switch network allows the aircraft's datalink signals to be passed along an accurately steered beam with no moving antenna parts, or mechanical positioners as with steered reflectors, but at significantly lower cost, weight and size than a phased array antenna.

"EMS is pleased to be a contributor on this important program with L-3 Communications West, which calls on our proven ability to quickly develop and demonstrate a solution that will bring together the data bandwidth of L-3's TCDL system with the utility of the Predator vehicle," said Todd Vaughn, director of the Ferrite Components Group at EMS. "Our approach uses passive, low-loss switch technology that we have demonstrated for several applications, including military satellite beam-forming systems and advanced intraflight datalinks for tactical fighter aircraft."

Web site: EMS
Web site: L-3

U.S. Army Uses Fakespace
(KITCHENER, Ontario) Fakespace Systems Inc. today announced that it has delivered a reconfigurable visualization system as part of an Immersive Environment Simulator, used to study how soldiers use equipment in combat zones, at the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) in Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. The RAVE II(TM) visualization system consists of three detachable, large-scale stereoscopic display units that ARL uses to project realistic imagery of simulated hostile environments.

The RAVE II is one part of the Tactical Environment Simulation Facility at ARL, which includes two adjoining simulation environments. One is a stereoscopic projection-based Hostile Environment Simulator that includes a 155 decibel sound system. The second part, called the Immersive Environment Simulator, integrates the RAVE II with motion tracking and an omni-directional treadmill to allow soldiers to literally run and move in any direction within virtual hostile terrain and combat conditions.

Researchers at the Army Research Laboratory in Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, use the Fakespace Systems RAVE II immersive environment to study soldier performance and evaluate new equipment. The RAVE II is a re-configurable stereoscopic system that enables ARL to project realistic imagery of simulated hostile enbironments. An omni-directional treadmill enables soldiers to move in any direction within computer-generated terrain.

"We selected the RAVE II for the immersive simulator because of its large size and flexible configuration," said Bruce Amrein, Chief of the Visual and Auditory Processing Branch at the Army Research Laboratory. "Fakespace was able to provide a custom-designed system that met our very particular requirements."

The RAVE II at the ARL is a reconfigurable stereoscopic display system consisting of three self-contained 10-ft x 12.5-ft rear-projected modules that can be arranged to form a flat wall display, an immersive theater, or an enclosed CAVE(R)-like environment. As part of the Immersive Environment Simulator it is used in conjunction with an immersive sound system consisting of 44 loudspeakers. It is the first system of its type to ever include an omni-directional treadmill, and it also has an extremely accurate inertial acoustic position measuring system, which enables visualizations to track in real time with the user's changing point of view. SGI was prime contractor for the $2.5 million project, and the Immersive Environment Simulator is driven by an SGI Onyx supercomputer.

The new facility will be used for human factors studies on pre-prototype hardware and software, such as new helmet designs and target acquisition systems. As part of the laboratory's Objective Force Warrior program, the immersive systems will also be used to evaluate how increased information, and different ways of accessing and presenting information, will affect soldiers' performance. Among a variety of proposed research studies, it will also be used in a project to determine if dismounted soldiers can successfully control one or more battlefield robots.

"The new tactical environment simulation facility at ARL is an exceptional resource for human factors research in warfare," said Carol Leaman, president of Fakespace Systems. "By creating a research facility where the most advanced technology can be applied to the study of soldier performance under highly controlled conditions, the U.S. Army will make discoveries that increase the safety and effectiveness of the armed forces on the battlefield and as a result, increase security worldwide."

The RAVE was customized to meet ARL's needs. The screen size is larger than standard RAVE units and it was designed to sit 18 inches above the floor in order to accommodate the omni-directional treadmill. It incorporates three Mirage 6000 projectors from Christie. These are exceptionally bright digital projectors that provide extremely sharp images and true colors.

A second RAVE II system with a 20-foot edge-blended center wall module will be installed at ARL in early 2003.

Web site: Fakespace Systems
Web site: Army Research Laboratory

Eurofighter Typhoon Cockpit Trainer Handover
(Hallbergmoos) Eurofighter GmbH announced the formal handover of the first major training and simulation support system for the Eurofighter Typhoon Weapon System. The Crew Escape and Safety Systems Trainer (CESST) is the first major training equipment to enter service with the Eurofighter Partner Air Forces and has been in operation at the German Air Force Technical School, Kaufbeuren, since commissioning in December 2002. CESST is a major component of the Eurofighter Typhoon Weapon System Ground Training Aids (GTA) suite.

The Eurofighter's Crew Escape and Safety Systems Trainer (CESST)

The Crew Escape and Safety Systems Trainer (CESST) is a key training element in preparing maintenance personnel employed on the escape and canopy jettison systems. The CESST allows trainees to work exactly as if they were working on the aircraft, but without the risks from explosives associated to canopy and ejector seat systems.

Air Force Association's 19th Annual Air Warfare Symposium
(ARLINGTON, Va.) "Air and Space Warfare: Meeting the Challenge" -- The Gulf War, Kosovo and Afghanistan confirm the rising imperative of air and space warfare and the critical role of airpower in the security of the nation. Airpower will be key to the success of military transformation and the global war on terrorism. One hundred years after the invention of the airplane, the 19th Annual Air Warfare Symposium will examine what strategy, capabilities and forces will define the Air Force of the future.

Where:  Wyndham Palace Resort & Spa
        1900 Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
        Phone: 407-827-2727
When:   February 13-14, 2003

Website: AFA

[ Send Us News | Archives ]

Click Here for Printer Version

© 2014 COMBATSIM.COM - All Rights Reserved