Platform Motion Improvements
In our efforts to provide a more realistic training experience, Buffalo Computer Graphics has added platform motion into our radar video generation. This new feature draws the radar image taking into account that the radar antenna moves based upon sea state. The size and orientation of the ownship, along with the direction of waves and the intensity of the sea state cause the ownship to pitch and roll resulting in a radar image which is dynamic and changes with varying sea states.
Vessel characteristics play a major role in how sea state affects the radar image. Pitch and roll amplitude and frequency values are automatically calculated based off of the length and beam of the ownship and the current wave height and direction. During inclement weather conditions the ownship may pitch and roll slightly, however, in extreme operating conditions with particular ship classes the pitch and roll values are higher.
When viewing the radar, the effects of platform motion can be seen on a sweep to sweep basis. Higher radar antennas will be subject to increased swaying as the ownship pitches and rolls. As this occurs, land will appear to move slightly from sweep to sweep and the radar beam will not hit the water uniformly as rotation occurs. The angle of the radar antenna to surface of the water can cause objects close to ownship such as buoys and in some cases smaller vessels to be missed entirely as the radar beam sweeps above them.
Instructors running in a master configuration control the environmental parameters through the Effects tab in BCG's MaST software. Sea state is selected through the pull down menu labeled Sea State and can be set from 0 to 12 corresponding to the values of the Beaufort Scale. The wave direction is entered in the text field next to the Wave Dir label. For example, setting Sea State to 4 and Wave Dir to 145 will produce small waves coming from 145° as shown below.
When running in a slave configuration, the user can take advantage of this new feature in two different ways. First, sea state and wave direction can be sent via BCG's proprietary BCGUDP interface and our software will calculate pitch and roll accordingly. Additionally, this updated software can also accept pitch and roll values directly via BCGUDP which will override the values calculated through our software giving the user control over the six degrees of freedom.