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By Tom Stanzione - As VP for Technical Outreach at MÄK, part of my job is to coordinate with universities that participate in our Research with MÄK and Teaching with MÄK programs. Last month, I visited George Mason University in Fairfax, VA to meet with the Center of Excellence in Command, Control, Communications, Computing and Intelligence (C4I). The Center is currently working with Brazil’s Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica (ITA) in San José dos Campos on a very interesting project.  Dr. Mike Hieb and his colleague Henrique Marques are using our VR-Forces constructive simulation to develop a testbed for future command and control research. They are currently using the testbed to develop an advanced planning algorithm for emergency response asset management and route planning. If you are a university professor or researcher and are interested in finding out more about our programs with education institutions, please contact me at tstanzione@mak.com or 1.617.876.8085 x109.

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By Brett Wiesner - Recently I gave a presentation at IMAGE 2011 in Scottsdale, Arizona and at an NDIA meeting in Fairfax, Virginia on the benefits of Open Streaming Terrain (OST). I thought I’d share just a brief synopsis of that here.

Terrain databases are an important part of any simulation and there are four main approaches for building terrain databases. You have hand modeled terrains that are built by artists and 3D modelers. There are tool generated terrain databases that are built by terrain generation tools. You have direct from source terrains that are constructed on the fly from source data in the client application. And finally you have streaming terrain, where content is streamed from a sever to a client directly. Each of these terrain approaches has its advantages and drawbacks.

Open Streaming Terrain (OST) is a kind of streaming terrain, where the data (elevation, imagery and feature data like roads and building footprints) is streamed from a server to a client using open standards. It’s the open standards thing that’s the important part. See, by using WMS, WFS, TMS or any of the open standards looked after by an open governing body like the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) or Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) you can build an application that“talks” to other compliant applications and can take advantage of petabytes of free (or fee) source data thats out there on the internet right now.

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By Brett Wiesner - We know we needed to get a linux build of VR-Vantage out to customers ASAP but we felt like sneaking in a few more features along the way was a good idea. We will release VR-Vantage 1.3.1 around the end of July with support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and also some great new capabilities like zoom and terrain scaling.

With zoom, you can magnify the view and see things that are far away without changing the observers location. This is useful for UAV sensor applications, ground based binocular views or even periscopes!

Terrain Scaling is a VR-Vantage XR capability that allows you to exaggerate the height of the terrain in order to get a different perspective of the situation. Don’t know which path is an easier climb or drive? Or maybe you want a clearer picture of the relationship between aircraft and the terrain? Exaggerate the slope with terrain scaling and you’ll find out easily!

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If you missed I/ITSEC this year in Orlando, then you missed some very impressive demonstrations presented by the experts at MÄK. Our booth was bigger than ever this year, allowing us to showcase both our COTS products and higher level solutions.

On the product front, we showcased VR-TheWorld a streaming terrain server for Modeling & Simulation.

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Also at IITSEC 2010, L-3 built a great solution using VR-Vantage XR and VR-Forces.
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Check out the video below of VT MAK’s latest product: VR-TheWorld Server! VR-TheWorld Server is a streaming terrain server for modeling and simulation.  It supports the TMS and WMS-C open standards and streams imagery and elevation to your simulation and visualization applications!  The easy to use web interface let’s up upload your own data and get it into your simulation in no time!

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Len Granowetter  • Vice President, Products and Solutions

Len Granowetter has been with MÄK since 1993. He currently serves as MÄK’s Vice President of Products with overall responsibility for MÄK’s Modeling and Simulation Product and Solutions business. From 1999-2009, Granowetter was MÄK’s Director of Product Development. Under his direction, MÄK’s product line expanded from a few interoperability toolkits to a full portfolio of applications, plug-ins, and developer’s tools, spanning the focus areas of Link, Simulate, and Visualize.

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The I/ITSEC floor is full of the usual exhibits: simulations rendered onto display screens of all sorts; people moving about being tracked and their rendered likenesses projected for us all to see; agencies showing and discussing the projects they are involved with; people huddled around software tool vendors to see the latest improvements.

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I/ITSEC is a wonderful event. In the midst of displaying well tested solutions to customers and prospects, sometimes there is an opportunity to do a little on-the-fly integration. This is one of those cases.

Yesterday in the VDC Display Systems booth, which has a completely enclosed room, we tried out VR-Vantage generating four channels of video to make one seamless display.

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This picture was taken with my iPhone; otherwise the room was completely dark.
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Today we released VR-Forces Entity Boost Plug-In. This plug-in is one part of our initiative to support greater scalability for large exercises, 100,000 entities and beyond. To make this happen we are taking advantage of every piece of technology we can get our hands on : cloud-computing, HLA Data Distribution Management (DDM), multi-resolution modeling, multicast filtering, and multi-threaded design.

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View the MÄK Force Projection Video

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Just issued a press release about our recent efforts with Alion to use Battle Command to train the Latvian Armed Forces.

You can read the release here: https://www.mak.com/company/news/news-archive

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Here’s a recording of our new Force Projection demo premiering at our booth this afternoon. The scenario is built to simulate across the world as the blue forces track a terrorist cell.

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We’re making progress.

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For those of you who haven’t seen what things look like on the show floor before Monday, here’s how things start, at least for MAK. It’s amazing that it all comes together in three days.

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