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Morgan McElroy

Navigating the new virtual world

We are pros at helping folks link, simulate and visualize virtual worlds in networked synthetic environments. But learning to navigate this new virtual world during COVID has been a unique challenge. With our MAK team, customers, and partners working from home over the past six months, we've focused our energy on developing strategies to keep us all safe and connected, while continuing to help our customers achieve their simulation goals. Here's what we've been up to and what's ahead as we continue the shift to virtual.

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Jim Kogler

SimMetrics “ Links to really cool stuff

I recently wrote about SimMetrics, a joint effort between MÄK and AGI, which adds high fidelity navigational accuracy to your simulation. As part of this development effort, I learned a whole lot about the GPS, and"¦ well"¦ navigational accuracy.

By far the most interesting source of reading is AGI’s NOG: http://thenogspot.blogspot.com/. The older posts are hosted off of AGI’s older blog site and are the most informative for a Satellite Navigation newbie: http://blogs.agi.com/navigationaccuracy. As much as my wife didn’t like it, I took most of a Saturday a few months ago and read the whole thing. Believe it or not, it was quite a bit of fun.

If you are interested in a demo, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

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Dan Brockway

Q&A with Bill Cole, CEO and President of MAK Technologies

Q&A with Bill Cole, CEO and President of MAK Technologies

We sat down with Bill Cole, MAK’s President and CEO, to ask him a few questions as he nears his two-year anniversary with MAK. Read about his impact on MAK over the past two years, the evolution and direction of the industry and MAK’s corresponding trajectory, as well as a few thoughts on how MAK is handling the new world in the times of COVID. 

You’ve been CEO and President at MAK for two years now. What would you say your influence has been on MAK during this time?

The team was tremendously talented before I arrived, so I can’t take all the credit for the past two years of success! MAK already had all the right ingredients - great people making great products supporting great customers. The fact that we’ve been able to grow during a pandemic while keeping our customer-obsessed attitude is something that I am very proud of and think it speaks volumes of this team. 

My role has been to encourage and support the team as they reach for bigger and more challenging opportunities - we can never be afraid to grow the company. We should always be thinking of new and better ways to approach challenges and try for bigger opportunities, and I’m here to help pave the way for that.

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Fred Wersan

Scene Graph Debugging Tools in VR-Vantage and VR-Forces

Many factors affect the visual quality and performance of terrain databases and terrain developers must be able to assess the effect of their decisions when building terrains. VR-Vantage and VR-Forces have some built-in debugging tools that can help you with your terrain development process. This tech tip is a brief survey of some of these tools.

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Jim Kogler

Performance Tuning in VR-Vantage

VR-Vantage IG includes tools to help customers measure performance and manage tradeoffs between scene content and performance.

Performance isn’t just for IG users who have strong 60hz requirements, it’s for everyone. if you are building a scenario in VR-Forces or are using VR-Vantage as a stealth, it’s just as important to have smooth, quality movements.

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Steve Peart

VT MAK exhibits at ASC 2017 in Sydney, Australia

Recently, VT MAK attended and exhibited at the Australasia Simulation Congress (ASC) in Sydney, Australia. This was MAK’s first time appearing at the conference since the forum and conference changed their name from SimTecT.

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Rob Hamilton

Deadline for July Live Training in Cambridge is Thursday, 6/29!

Last chance to sign up for July VR-Forces class in Cambridge!

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Steve Peart

Modeling and Simulation seminar in Bogota, Colombia

Last month VT MAK held their Modeling and Simulation seminar in Bogota, Colombia at the BestWestern Plus Hotel - 93 Parque.
 
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Dan Brockway

MAK and Alion Partner to Train Latvian Armed Forces

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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Steve Peart

MAK is exhibiting at the C4i and Cyber Center Symposium!

Hello from Virginia!
 
Today and tomorrow MAK is exhibiting at the C4i and Cyber Center Symposium at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia.
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Rob Hamilton

VT MÄK to Host a Weeklong VR-Forces Training Class

We are excited to announce that we will be hosting a free VR-Forces training class at our headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts!

The week-long training will run from March 21-25. 

The course will be focused on developing user-level skills in the latest release of VR-Forces. 

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Rob Hamilton

VR-Forces 4.4, the Most Refined and Intuitive Simulation Experience Yet

VR-Forces is a mainstay product for the MÄK brand, and has been for nearly two decades. Our software engineers have preserved this cornerstone of MÄK offerings by continually evolving its capabilities and interface. Today we preview VR-Forces 4.4 — the most refined and intuitive simulation engine we’ve ever built.

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Jim Kogler

SUSE 11, Welcome to the Family

Some of you may have noticed that MÄK has recently started supporting the SUSE Linux Operating System in some of our latest releases.  MÄK has a long history of supporting a wide variety of common Operating Systems. SUSE is a very popular OS in Europe and has been used by our customers for some time through custom ports. With the latest release of VR-Link and the MÄK RTI we are proud to announce we now officially support the platform with our standard interoperability products. That means future versions of both the MÄK RTI and VR-Link will continue to support SUSE.

For a complete list of standard supported platforms, please see the MÄK website. If you have a platform you would like to see supported, please let us know at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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Dan Brockway

VizforFree

When we released VR-TheWorld, we weren’t sure if the defense M&S community was ready for open streaming terrain - distributed interactive simulation has such a strong dependence on correlation. So making a terrain database that runs in all the systems and meets all the requirements is a big job. Not all systems are capable of on-the-fly terrain creation from terrain servers, like VR-Forces and VR-Vantage.

Lately, we are beginning to see more and more use cases for streaming terrain servers in the early stages of large projects. By hosting the GIS data, the foundational data layers (elevation, features, imagery), on a streaming terrain server, project teams are able to start simulating immediately. They can use the terrain agile VR-Forces to plan and execute scenarios months before the terrain databases are even built.  And because VR-Forces and VR-Vantage are terrain agile, they can switch to using the static terrain databases when they are finally delivered. Customers are finding that some simulation tasks are started and finished on the open streaming terrain without the need for a static database build.

Our VizForFree promotion makes it even easier for your project to get the jump on your project timeline. VizForFree makes it possible for you to start sharing your terrain data today, regardless of which simulation platforms you will be supporting tomorrow. If you haven’t seen our VizForFree video yet, have a look. 

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Ivan Diaz

Report from the Military Knowledge Week at ESMIC

Hey guys!

Last week, VT MAK exhibited at the Military Knowledge Week 2017 at the Colombian Military Academy of the Army, which included the 3rd Fair of simulation for the military training. The event allowed the knowledge sharing for different visitor as military schools students, officers, research and development students and companies.
VT MAK was showing the latest product of our suite of tools: VR-Engage. For this event we were experiencing the ground application for a first person simulation from a soldier and a vehicle perspective. As part of a new technologies group, VT MAK is being developing this tool to achieve the customers requirements.
We also were participating as a development platform though one of our systems integrator CI2. They were showing their solution for virtual shooter based on VT MAKs products, called ENVIR. Their integration was showing great performance and adding various technologies for a better training using the virtual environments and real guns with shooting kits.

Thank you!

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Fred Wersan

Tech Tip from Fred: Starting MÄK Applications on Windows 10

Over the past few months, MÄK staff have been transitioning from Windows 7 to Windows 10. We discovered that the Windows 10 "All apps" menu does not support the folder structure that we have been using to organize startup shortcuts for our applications, documentation, and tools. Everything gets dumped into a flat list under All apps > MAK Technologies. This makes finding the application you want to run tedious at best and confusing at worst, particularly if you have multiple versions of an application installed.

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Rob Hamilton

Technical Difficulties with VR-theWorld.com (Resolved)

VR-theWorld.com is back online as of today. 
We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. 

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Ivan Diaz

Report from CSTM in Brazil

CSTM 2016, the Conference on Simulation and Military Technology, is an Army specialized show for simulation technology in Brazil.

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Felix Rodriguez

ITEC 2016: What we learned and how MÄK customers will benefit

Like we do every year, MÄK visited ITEC in London and exhibited alongside our fantastic European partners, Antycip. ITEC 2016 was a resounding success for MÄK and its customers. We love getting a chance to meet up with everyone and exchange ideas, and we’re particularly excited by how MÄK customers will benefit from what we learned at this show.

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Rob Hamilton

NASA Project Wins, Grows with the MÄK RTI

As aviation technology has improved, commercial air traffic has increased significantly, requiring better airspace management techniques. In an attempt to develop better air capacity, safety, and flexibility, NASA’s Air Traffic Operations Laboratory (ATOL) used a massive simulation environment called Air and Traffic Operations Simulation (ATOS) to explore better techniques. As the project’s success lead to its growth, NASA required a licensing option that would be easily scalable in a simulation that is ever-expanding.

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Steve Peart

Paulina Vodanovic Rojas stops by to check out MÄK technology.

Yesterday at FIDAE 2016, the VT MÄK/Altec Booth got a surprise visitor.

Paulina Vodanovic Rojas, the Chilean Sub-Secretary of State, decided to stop by our booth and test out our first-person pilot demo! Let us know if you'd like to see this demo for yourself.

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Pete Swan

First Day of AUSA is a Hit for MÄK Customers!

The first day of AUSA has been great for MÄK customers! 

MÄK's setup inside the VT Miltope Booth (#813) has generated a great amount of interest in MÄK's virtual reality-based Light Armored Vehicle crew trainer demo. Constructed through VR-Forces, DI-Guy and VR-Vantage, it includes an Oculus Rift Commander view, gunner, and driver.

VR-Vantage really shows off the capability of using a VR helmet as a serious training tool and cost-effective simulation immersion device!

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Ivan Diaz

Iván Reporting from Expodefensa 2015

The first week of December, VT MÄK was in Bogotá, Colombia, for EXPODEFENSA, the Colombian trade show for the defense and security industries.

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Steve Peart

Another successful I/ITSEC for the partners and customers of VT MÄK!

Another successful I/ITSEC for the partners and customers of VT MÄK!

Seasons Greetings!

We want to thank everyone who participated in and/or attended I/ITSEC 2015. We have included photos below- check out the experience we had at the show!

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Aaron Dubois

Get Linked at I/ITSEC

As mentioned by my fellow I/ITSEC bloggers, there’s quite a bit of buzz around the MAK booth! People seem to be instinctively drawn to all of our visualization products, streaming terrain features, and snazzy customer solutions, not only because of MAK’s hard earned reputation in simulation and visualization products, but also because of the eye catching displays and demos.

But (probably because of my role as technical product manager of link products) I just wanted to remind everyone attending I/ITSEC and those who aren’t able to attend that MAK is still going strong with our Link products! If anyone at the show is interested in learning more about MAK’s core products, Including the MAK RTI, VR-Link, VR-Exchange, and the Data Logger, come by our booth and talk to me! I’ve already spoken with a number of Link product users and gotten some great feedback:“ now it’s your turn! I want to hear what you’re currently using our products for and what we can do in the future to meet your Linking needs.

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Bob Holcomb

Greetings from ATCA

The weather in Atlantic city is definitely IFR conditions (&ldquoInstrument Flight Rules” - or for us recovering army helicopter pilots,“I Follow Roads”). There’s zero visibility and clouds all the way down to the surface. I’m not the least bit worried though, I’m at the Air Traffic Controller’s Technical Symposium with a large number people who are used to landing aircraft of any size in these conditions.

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Fred Wersan

Pattern of Life Part 2: “Entity Behavior”

In POL Part 1, I explained how you can specify the frequency and timing of entity spawning in a POL template. In this blog, I’ll explain what happens after entities get spawned.

The default behavior for a spawned entity is to randomly pick a sink point of the same type, walk or drive to the sink point, and be removed from the scenario. The default plan provides purposeful behavior for each entity and may be sufficient for your simulation.

First, let’s talk about sink points. Every spawn pattern automatically has a spawn point and sink point associated with it. For example, the Ped spawn pattern has Ped spawn points and Ped sink points. By default, entities created from a particular spawn point will look for a sink point of the same type. However, you can add waypoints or any other sink point to a spawn pattern and entities of that spawn type will choose among the additional sink points when they decide where to go.

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Dan Brockway

I/ITSEC 09 World’s Largest Modeling and Simulation Conference

What’s I/ITSEC all about? Check out this overview provided by NTSA.

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Dan Brockway

I/ITSEC Set Up

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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