Montreal, CANADA — Virtual Prototypes Inc., a leading supplier of software development tools for interactive, real-time graphics systems, announced that the Sowerby Advanced Technology Centre of BAESYSTEMS, Europe’s leading defense and commercial aerospace company, has chosen their products, VAPS and FLSIM. VAPS and FLSIM will be used to develop an Advanced Human Computer Interaction Modelling Environment, focusing on the development and assessment of cognitive models for human decision making, automation, and training. The environment workbench will be developed as a research tool during 2000.
The Cognitive Modelling Environment comprises a network of PC’s, with FLSIM, VAPS and Cognitive Models running on separate machines. By the term cognitive models (sometimes called cognitive agents), what is meant is the representation in software of human mental processes, such as decision making, reasoning and planning. In a typical application, aircraft parameters from FLSIM are passed to cognitive agent software through VAPS communication libraries. The data is processed by the cognitive modelling software and the results can be displayed in the form of advisories (for example, the best divert airport to choose in the event of subsystem failure). Because the emphasis is on research, the environment is configured to allow evaluation of human performance, via a sophisticated suite of psychological and behavioral measurement tools (mental workload, situation awareness, eye movements, heart rate, etc.). The result is a powerful but flexible Human Factors research tool, which can be applied to a range of important issues, such as command and control decision-making, allocation of function between operator and machine, and training.
VAPS is a powerful suite of tools for specifying, testing, simulating and deploying visual, real-time, interactive 2D graphical user interfaces. VAPS automates all phases of the development and deployment of real-time, data-driven and event-driven graphical HMI applications. The VAPS tool suite allows users to intuitively draw objects, specify data- driven animation, connect to application data and specify event/response behavior. VAPS generates ANSI C source code that may be compiled and downloaded to the embedded real-time target system. CCG takes VAPS-built HMI from the prototyping stage to product delivery.
FLSIM is the only reconfigurable, low-cost, DIS-compliant flight simulation software for fixed-wing aircraft available today as a Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) product. FLSIM enables non-expert users with the ability to create flexible flight model for any type of fixed wing aircraft. The high-fidelity flight dynamics are modeled with six degrees of freedom.
“The decision made to purchase Virtual Prototypes’ software was based equally on compatibility and reliability,” said Paul Emmerson, Leader of the HCI and Cognitive Studies Group in the Advanced Technology Centre.
“We are extremely pleased to participate in the research development of such a prominent company in the defense industry,” said Philippe Collard, President and CEO of Virtual Prototypes. “We are confident that our VAPS and FLSIM software will offer speed and efficiency to this process, and hopefully serve as a gateway to future endeavors with BAE SYSTEMS.”
BAE SYSTEMS designs and manufactures civil and military aircraft, surface ships, submarines, space systems, radar, avionics, communications, electronics, guided weapon systems and a range of other defence products. Founded in 1985, Virtual Prototypes is a leading supplier of software tools for the development of real-time, interactive graphical applications. Visit http://www.VirtualPrototypes.CA for more information.