Modern simulation techniques have a growing role for evaluating new technologies and for developing cost-effective training programs. A mission simulator facilitates the productive exchange of ideas by demonstration of concepts through compellingly realistic computer simulation.
Revolutionary advances in 3D simulation technology have made it possible for desktop computers to process strikingly realistic and complex interactions with results depicted in real-time. Computer games now allow for multiple real human players and "artificially intelligent" (AI) simulated robots to play together. Advances in computer processing power have compensated for the inherent intensive calculations required for complex simulation scenarios. The main components of the leading game-engines have been released for user modifications, enabling game enthusiasts and amateur programmers to advance the state-of-the-art in AI and computer simulation technologies. It is now possible to simulate sophisticated and realistic conflict situations in order to evaluate the impact of non-lethal devices as well as conflict resolution procedures using such devices.
Simulations can reduce training costs as end users: learn what a device does and doesn't do prior to use, understand responses to the device prior to deployment, determine if the device is appropriate for their situational responses, and train with new devices and techniques before purchasing hardware.
This paper will present the status of SARA's mission simulation development activities, based on the Half-Life gameengine, for the purpose of evaluating the latest non-lethal weapon devices, and for developing training tools for such devices.
We have performed analysis of the requirements for an optical dazzler, designed and built a three-wavelength source with a baseline beam projector, and a Smart Beam Projector that can point the beam, and adjust the laser power for a particular target. The source is based on diode lasers, and diode pumped lasers in the Red, Green and Violet ranges of wavelengths. Each laser can be independent adjusted in output power, and pulse duration. The beams are combined using optical fibers, and the source fits in a 1/4 cubic foot Pelican Box, and can run off a battery for field testing. The baseline beam projector can be mounted to a rifle or pistol. The Smart beam projector is designed for laboratory testing at this time. The operation of the prototype system will allow a variety of combinations of laser power, and pulse length to give a varying spatial and temporal profile of illumination. The system is to be tested by the Army for effectiveness. A next generation of dazzler is under construction that will allow microprocessor control of pulse power and duration, increasing the variety of illumination spatial and temporal patterns and more fully utilizing the Smart beam projector capabilities.