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Research and Development

Research and Development Solutions

Check out some of the ways people are using MAK's products for Defense and Homeland Security today:

Unmanned Vehicle Controller Stations

Unmanned Vehicle Controller Stations

What's at stake?

Because UVSs have become more prevalent in the Iraq and Afghanistan operations, Defense Secretary Robert Gates has described the demand as "insatiable". To meet this demand, there is an increasing need for simulations to support every phase of the development life cycle including:  

  • Demonstration. Visualization of new designs helps to confirm their value. UVS systems help to demonstrate new vehicle designs or concepts within a synthetic environment.
  • Experimentation. Simulations help prove and refine new concepts or Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs). Simulated UVSs are used in complex scenarios as part of realistic simulations that are linked to real systems, hardware, and other human-in-the-loop simulators.
  • Education. Simulations allow pilots, sensor/payload operators, mission commanders, and visual intelligence analysts to practice and analyze decision-making and communication processes.

MAK can help.

MAK can help you build an Unmanned Vehicle System (UVS) controller station to test guidance, navigation, and control functions of a new or modified UVS without the risk of harming people or property that is inherent in live testing. UVS simulations must provide realistic avionics models, sensor models, and visuals, and emulate real-world controls and communication systems. The IOS station supports research, development, test, evaluation, and training for current and next-generation Unmanned Vehicle Systems. It can run as a stand-alone system or it can be integrated with or embedded in another UVS simulator or ground control station. The Controller Station can be used generically to support experimentation and analysis of new vehicle designs, TTPs, or team communication and coordination. It can also be tailored to a specific UVS design to enable part-task training.  

Highlights of your system can include:  

  • Versatility. Supports one or more player stations including pilots, sensor/payload operators, mission commanders, and intelligence analysts.
  • Realistic Visuals. Provides 2D map displays, realistic 3D out-the-window views, and accurate sensor visuals for electro-optical (EO), night vision, or infrared (IR) views. Core technologies: VR-Vantage IG, JRM SensorFX.
  • Embedded UVS avionic and sensor models with integrated controls. Core technology: RT Dynamics RotorLib.
  • Scenario Generation - You can create and control test scenarios or control remote simulation engine applications. Core technology: VR-Forces
  • Scenario Control. Embedded Master Scenario Event List (MSEL) editor and manager to inject training events including vehicle or sensor malfunctions.
  • Networked. Interoperates with other simulation applications using the High Level Architecture (HLA), and Distributed Interactive Simulation (DISprotocols. Core technology: VR-Link 
  • Analysis & After Action Review – The MAK IOS supports pre-mission briefing and AAR / debriefing. It can record exercises and play them back. The instructor can annotate key events in real-time or post exercise, assess trainee performance, and generate debrief presentations and reports. The logged data can be exported to a variety of databases and analysis tools for data mining and performance assessment. Core technology: MAK Data Logger
  • Network Simulation Model. Provides realistic virtual battlefield links encompassing the entire sensor-to-shooter chain, including the command, control and information networks required to support Network Centric Operations concepts and systems. Core technology: Qualnet / Exata

    Flight Deck Systems

    Flight Deck Training

    What’s at stake?

    Working on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier is dangerous business. Especially if your job is in “the bucket” and you’re supposed to release the catapult to accelerate a jet down the deck to aid its take off. You need to set the tension on the catapult after you get the weight from the refueling crew, you need to get the thumbs up from the deck chief, and finally make sure that the pilot is focused on the runway and ready. If you let that catapult go too soon, its going to hurt – a lot.

    MAK can help

    VT MAK has the tools you need to develop a training system to teach flight deck safety procedures. 

    • DI-Guy Scenario can create human character performances that model the activities on the flight deck.
    • With the DI-Guy SDK, you can integrate the performances into your image generator, or you can use VR-Vantage IG, which has DI-Guy built in. 
    • If you need special gestures to meet your training requirements, you can use the DI-Guy Motion Editor to customize the thousands of character apearances that come with all DI-Guy products. Or you can create characters from motion capture files. 
    • If your training requires the detail of specific facial expression, then DI-Guy Expressive Faces will plug right in and give the you the control you need. 
    • And if you’d like help pulling this all together. MAK is here to help. With renowned product support and custom services to ensure your training system is a success. 

    Developing Air and Ground Traffic Policy


    Developing Air and Ground Traffic Policy in a World Increasingly Populated by UAS

    As UAS technologies become more accessible, an increase in air traffic, particularly around urban centers is inevitable. It will be essential for governments and their agencies to develop policies with regards to air traffic and its relationship with ground traffic, specifically for low-flying UASs, and particularly in emergency situations. Well-developed traffic management will maximize safe traffic speed in regular conditions and divert flows efficiently in emergency scenarios when first-responders are rushing to a scene. Poor planning may result in economic and human loss. Simulation is an ideal space to test current traffic policies under changing conditions and to research and develop new solutions.


    The Challenge:

    Governments and agencies need a tool that can depict an area modeled after their own and simulate air traffic within it. The tool should be capable of depicting specific types of air traffic, including planes, helicopters, and UASs, as well as airspace demarcation. There needs to be a concurrent display of ground traffic, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicles - particularly around the scene of an incident. Policymakers want to be able to visualize traffic flows and craft response strategies for general and specific situations.


    The MAK Solution:

    VT MAK offers commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology to construct airspace simulations, backed by a company with an “engineer down the hall” philosophy to help organizations select and implement the most effective solution.


    VR-Forces provides a scalable computer-generated forces simulation engine capable of populating an environment with air and ground traffic, as well as infrastructure specific to traffic systems. There is plenty of out-of-the-box content of all shapes and sizes, from sUAS up to 747s in the air, and everything from human characters and bicyclists to fire trucks on the ground. If an out-of-the-box model needs to be modified to match local specifications, or if an agency wants to create their own from scratch, MAK’s open-source API allows for full customization of entity appearance and performance.


    VR-Forces depicts volumetric airspace regulations, giving policymakers a three-dimensional perspective of air corridors and restricted spaces as they swell and shrink. Crucially, volumetric airspace restrictions can be assigned to impact air and ground traffic systems accordingly. For example, if there was an auto accident, set policies could dictate an air restriction in the area up to a certain height to provide space for UAS emergency response and redirect UAS traffic as long as necessary. At the same time, traffic on the ground within a particular radius may have their speeds reduced, or lanes may be opened specifically for first responders to access the scene more readily.


    Policymakers can calibrate the size and rules applied to air corridors and measure the impact of these changes on the traffic patterns of the city. VR-Forces is capable of depicting traffic density as it shifts with new incidents, even assigning a color-coded density maps to better visualize areas of congestion in air and on the ground.


    VR-TheWorld allows policymakers to test these impacts inside any city for which they have the terrain data, through a through a web-based interface. This creates the most realistic testing lab for research and development projects.


    Want to learn more? Have a look at the VR-Forces page for more information. interested in seeing a demonstration?