Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BISim), a global developer of advanced military simulation and training software, recently released the latest updates to its product portfolio including its flagship whole-earth image generator VBS Blue IG. In the interview below, Cory Kumm, BISim’s Chief Product Officer, talks about what’s new in VBS Blue IG, its key advantages, and innovative use cases it’s being used for.
What is VBS Blue IG?
VBS Blue IG provides high-fidelity and high-performance rendering from space down to blades of grass or the ocean floor. It offers unlimited view distances with ground detail unmatched by any other visualization. VBS Blue IG provides a baseline global terrain that is procedurally enhanced from real-world data, offers users the option to blend procedural terrain with satellite imagery or high-resolution terrain, and enables users to override the procedural terrain to use satellite imagery and other data directly. VBS Blue IG supports industry standards, protecting investments in systems and content. Using the CIGI standard, VBS Blue IG rapidly integrates with existing host simulators including VBS3. It is already in use on dozens of defense industry projects ranging from VR (virtual reality)-based flight and air crew training to multichannel simulation for JTAC/FAC training.
What are some of the highlights of new features and capabilities in the latest update of VBS Blue IG?
The latest release VBS Blue IG v19.1 includes support for new VR and MR headsets including Varjo’s VR-1 and XR-1 as well as the Valve Index. VBS Blue IG is compatible with a wide range of VR, AR (augmented reality) and MR (mixed reality) technologies, and we’re continuously testing it with new hardware. Customers are looking to use more VR and MR simulation-based training and are very interested in VR and MR as a method to obtain this especially for procedural trainers.
The latest updates introduced in VBS Blue IG v19.1 optimize the speed of the data pipeline so users get up to 20 percent faster terrain paging performance and two times higher resolution. VBS Blue IG v19.1 also includes enhancements to ground details; for instance, satellite imagery now blends seamlessly with procedural coloring and detail textures to produce more realistic overall appearances at both near and far distances.
Of course, these are just a few highlights of enhancements in the latest release. You can see a full list of new features in VBS Blue IG at our website.
What are the key advantages of using VBS Blue IG?
VBS Blue IG is the only modern, procedural, round earth-based IG (image generator) that provides support for land, air and sea application all within the same application and, at the same time, provides very high frame rates to support both traditional image generation uses and the high-fidelity demands of virtual reality needs. VBS Blue IG offers massive cost and time-to-complete savings for geo-specific terrains, and comes equipped with easy-to-use tools to configure and deploy new training and simulation capabilities due to the procedural nature of the engine, and developers can reuse content across simulations purpose-built for other domains such as using existing ground content for an air-based solution versus redeveloping all of the content per application domain as may be the case with more traditional technology.
Another unique aspect of VBS Blue IG is that its Software Development Kit offers a disruptive and unique set of capabilities — empowering integrators to create endless varieties of solutions for their customers.
Additionally, VBS Blue IG leverages the massive VBS content library, which includes over 14,000 high-fidelity 3D models including vehicles, weapons and characters. These assets include dynamic models, animations and sensor attribution.
Where is VBS Blue IG being used?
VBS Blue IG is in use for a wide range of different simulation and training uses including a virtual reality-based flight and air crew trainer for the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command, a multichannel simulation for JTAC/FAC training, developed in collaboration with system integrator QuantaDyn Corp., and a mixed reality T-45 flight trainer for the U.S. Navy.
Can you give us a hint of what’s coming in the next update to VBS Blue IG?
In our next release, we’re updating VBS Blue’s atmospheric lighting model and fog to behave realistically under all possible light conditions. For instance, air scenarios will benefit from correct horizon brightness that the new models bring. The updates to the lighting model will also increase rendering performance. You can see images of this work in progress on our website.
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