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Terrain Use Cases

MÄK's commitment to terrain agility and streaming terrain allows you the freedom to choose your terrain format or stream terrain data from a remote server. With our arsenal of tools, MÄK will help you develop the perfect solution.

Terrain Use Cases

Take advantage of our ability to simulate your world. MÄK’s off-the-shelf terrain tools can help you develop custom solutions.

Dynamic Terrain Server


Dynamic Terrain Server

What's at stake?

Distributed simulation designs are constructed by combining loosely coupled and interoperable components. However, while the simulation applications are distributed, terrain data usually is not. Each simulation application usually accesses terrain data stored on the local machine. This approach limits terrain interoperability and reuse. It constrains the amount of data that can be accessed to the amount that can be stored locally and necessitates redundant copying of data from one machine to another. Terrain servers solve this problem by storing large amounts of terrain data and supplying it over the network to client applications.    

In addition to the problem of terrain availability, simulations that aspire to high levels of realism must deal with the problem of static terrain. The world is not static. Actions of simulated objects can affect aspects of the environment and these changes need to be available to all participants. Bombs can create craters; vehicles can form berms to provide fortified positions; objects can be destroyed and produce debris. When terrain data is stored locally, there is no good way to propagate terrain changes to exercise participants. A dynamic terrain server solves this issue.

MÄK can help. 

MÄK's dynamic terrain server, VR-TheWorld, enables data to be accessed as a shared service that can be seamlessly and interactively viewed from anywhere, at any level, in a variety of formats. The server provides the foundation for current simulations, facilitates centralized management and future scalability, and enables dynamic terrain changes to be propagated to simulation applicationsl; it also lets you interactively stream and view on-demand data in real-time simulations. Simulation users can spin the globe, zoom into a location, drop units, and start simulating.  

The server supports the concept of “stateful” objects within the terrain, such as destructible buildings, doors that can be opened or breached, and trees that can fall and block movement along roads. When the state of a terrain object changes, that change is immediately available to all applications using the terrain server, allowing entities to interact appropriately. Furthermore, the terrain skin can be deformable, enabling simulation-specific changes such as craters to be seamlessly “stitched” into the terrain.  

All the terrain details are accessible via open standards.

GIS Enabled Modeling and Simulation


GIS Enabled Modeling & Simulation - GEMS  

What's at stake?

GEMS is an enabling technology that makes it possible for Battle Command Systems (BCS) and Modeling & Simulation (M&S) systems to share the same GIS-based environment representations. The benefits of such an integration can be found in these types of applications: 

  • C4I Systems stimulated by M&S Systems – M&S systems can be used to stimulate battle command system with events from a variety of preplanned and interactive scenarios. Commanders can keep sharp on Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTP) by being exposed to a variety of scenarios.
  • M&S Capabilities embedded into C4I Systems – Provide decision support by modeling scenarios and performing course of action analysis (COA). Rehearse timing of operations and evaluate mission plans, using M&S to play out scenarios defined in the Common Operational Picture (COP).
  • M&S systems correlating with Operational Terrain Data – Use geographic information system (GIS) data and geoprocessing models to simulate within operational terrain environments. Create more realistic training by using intelligence in the Common Operational Picture to create relevant simulation scenarios. 
  • C4I systems implemented with M&S Technology – Implement C4I systems, battle management systems, and situational awareness systems with tools developed by the M&S community: computer generated forces, distributed simulation protocols, tactical map displays, and 3D visualization.

Static terrain databases have been the main approach to modeling the 3D environment since the beginning of the Modeling and Simulation industry. Meanwhile, Battle Command Systems have been built around maps and geographic information systems. As the technologies have advanced in recent years, it is now becoming possible for modeling & simulation systems to operate directly on the same geographic data used by the operational Battle Command systems.

MÄK can help.

MÄK can customize GEMS to work with your constructive simulation. By adding GEMS to your constructive simulation, you enable it to use ESRI Geodatabases and ESRI Enterprise GIS servers as the terrain database.

  • Terrain Queries – Instead of loading static terrain databases, which must be designed specifically for your simulation system, GEMS allows your simulation to query ArcGIS for terrain answers. GEMS integrates with your simulation at the point where your simulation needs the height of the terrain or line-of-sight information between entities.
  • GEMS API – GEMS consists of a software library that implements the GEMS Application Programmers Interface (API). This API has two layers. An ESRI specific layer interfaces with an ESRI geodatabase either locally or through an ESRI GIS Server. On the other side, a simulation specific layer interfaces with the simulation software to answer all of the terrain queries.
  • Geo-processing Models – GEMS allows your simulation system to take advantage of the powerful geoprocessing models of ArcGIS. By accessing the GIS’ geoprocessing routines, terrain reasoning can be performed using the GIS instead of in the simulation.
  • Enterprise Geo-databases – GEMS works with ArcGIS enterprise servers so you can share the geo-database across your entire operation. This shared database can be dynamically updated at any node. Changes propagate to the simulation, as well as Battle Command Systems or other applications sharing the geo-database.
  • Commercial Joint Mapping Tool Kit (CJMTK) – The GEMS libraries have been designed to work with GIS schemas found in operational, CJMTK compliant data sets, such as the US Army’s Theater Geodatabase (TGD).
  • Constructive Simulations - The GEMS API has been developed for, and performance tested with, both the VR-Forces and OneSAF.