Modeling & Simulation
"Dr. Chandra, Will I Dream?"...HAL-9000, circa 1984
Modeling & Simulation is a core discipline employed by Apogee Integration engineers to help our customers develop a level of understanding of the interaction of the parts of a system, and of the system as a whole. The level of understanding which may be developed via this discipline is seldom achievable via any other discipline.
- System - A system exists and operates in time and space.
- Model - A model is a simplified representation of a system at some particular point in time or space intended to promote understanding of the real system.
- Simulation - A simulation is the manipulation of a model in such a way that it operates on time or space to compress it, thus enabling one to perceive the interactions that would not otherwise be apparent because of their separation in time or space.
Effective modeling and simulation requires a unique blend of art, physics and software engineering. Apogee Integration engineers have many years of experience applying modeling and simulation techniques to help our customers analyze the behavior of complex systems. Our simulations have also been used to support wargaming exercises and to visualize real-time system behavior.
Simulation is often used to analyze the performance, reliability or effectiveness of an existing or future system. For these analytical simulation studies, the first step is to clearly define the questions that the model is intended to help resolve. Once that goal is established, our engineers construct a mathematical or software simulation model which represents the critical system components at an appropriate level of fidelity. Successful analytical simulation requires careful model design, special programming techniques and an understanding of statistical techniques for conducting and analyzing simulation experiments.
Another common application of simulation is to support interactive wargames or training exercises. In this case, the system must interact with a human player, external hardware or software simulators or both. In these simulations, analytical and statistical rigor takes a backseat to the quick production of realistic results and high quality visual displays.
Apogee engineers apply best M&S practices in the areas of:
- Object-oriented programming / object-oriented design
- Discrete-event and time-step simulation programming techniques
- Monte-Carlo simulation methods
- Experimental design and statistical analysis of simulation results
- Physical system modeling, including RF characteristics, orbit and flight path trajectories
- Optimization techniques
- Parallel and high performance computing (HPC), High Level Architecture (HLA) ; DIS
- Configuration management (CM)
- High quality visualization techniques
In support of the Warfighter and the Intelligence Community, Apogee engineers have developed highly interactive custom simulators to model the Tasking, Collection, Processing, Exploitation and Dissemination processes of ISR assets and rapid turn-around models and simulations to predict Electro-Optical , SIGINT, SAR, and COMM payload performance; Satellite orbit behaviors, Access based statistics, RF link budgets, Antenna Gain behaviors, GPS dilution of precision, Walker Orbit Constellation performance, and the effects of foreign based jammers on blue forces.
When an existing COTS/GOTS solution is available (ie. AGI's STK, Google Earth, MS Virtual Earth, ArcGIS,...,), Apogee engineers leverage the capabilities of these environments to interface with them or develop tools that integrate databases, geospatial information, and models to provide a common operating picture across space and time of threat environments, satellite operations, and tactical platform performance. We are a preferred business partner for Analytical Graphics Inc. supplying Aerospace expertise through our Certified STK Rocket Scientists to their classified customers.
nD to xD Visualization
Visualization is the use of interactive, sensory representations, typically visual, of abstract data to reinforce cognition, hypothesis building and reasoning. The “n” is the number of dimensions being used to display the information. At Apogee we take traditional 2D and 3D techniques to the next level…the xD.
- Information Visualization - Selecting, transforming, and representing large amounts of abstract data in nD.
- Knowledge Visualization - Transfers insights, experiences, attitudes, perspective and predications using diagrams, interactive nD visualizations and imagery.
- 2 Dimensional Visualization (2D) - The traditional technique of using height and width based data display. Examples are documents, blueprints, slide presentations, or spreadsheet charting. Attributes such as color, size, shape and shading of icons or backgrounds display additional dimensions of a complex data set, with tradeoff costs in complexity.
- 3 Dimensional Visualization (3D) – Adding depth to the 2D data display techniques in modeling & simulation allows for user submersion and a photorealistic experience when viewing models, topography, and simulations.
- 4 Dimensional Visualization (4D) – Adding the passage of time for certain events to 3D Visualization is a critical component for modeling & simulating Situation Awareness, Satellite/UAV operations, Aircraft Collision Avoidance, GPS analysis, Communications, Product generation, etc. This 4th dimension is the xD that allows Apogee to transform otherwise stale images and statistics into evolving awareness of the how and why’s of scenario analysis.
Simulation customers value high quality displays of simulation behavior. Effective visualization can be as simple and clear as a two dimensional (2D) map or chart or much more elaborate -- such as a three dimensional (3D) scene using detailed imagery and terrain topography to add depth. A rich 3D display allows the viewer to submerse himself in a photorealistic experience. Time progression can be used to add a fourth dimension (4D) to visualization.
Apogee modelers are experienced with using overhead imagery, 3D terrain and 3D model world data to generate tactical and strategic visualizations. Apogee engineers create tools and processes for creating 3D animations and videos for visualization and presentation support. We convert high resolution terrain data, imagery and shape files to produce line of sight and coverage analysis, and 3D animated visualizations.
Apogee engineers often integrate GOTS and COTS tools with custom software to combine system data, geospatial information and physics models to provide an integrated picture across space and time of threat environments, satellite operations, and tactical platform performance. Our engineers have experience with several simulation and visualization tools, including: STK, Google Earth, ArcGIS, Imagine, Tableau, Dante, QTModeler, GlobalMapper, MetaVR WorldPerfect, OneSAF, TerraVista Dart, Modo, Solid Works and ProEngineer.
For our operationally oriented customers, our engineers provide pre-mission analysis and animations to provide operators and analysts a realistic planning tool and a virtual training environment. Post-mission simulations provide a realistic visualization that allows analysts to grade the mission and facilitates briefing the operation to the end user.