Synthetic environments and systems simulation

The development of an advanced synthetic environment capability offers many potential benefits to the aerospace sector:

  • Reduced time for product development and deployment.
  • Improved exploitation of current research.
  • Enhanced communication through the supply chain.

The successful development of a synthetic environment capability requires the integration of state-of-the-art information, communication and visualisation technologies, world class research and a competitive commercial environment in which the benefits of success would be significant. The Aerospace Sector and the University of Manchester are well placed to play major roles in the development and exploitation of this theme.

Aerospace programmes are making increasing use of simulation-based assessments of product concepts such as: design, manufacture, deployment and operability. Furthermore, a crucial emphasis is now placed on how airborne platforms can coordinate, cooperate and collaborate within an operational network and how the total network, which may have a combination of air, land, sea or space components, can be optimised and managed in real time.

The infrastructure for synthetic environments can be seen as a collection of hardware and software resources that permit the interconnection of models and simulations with human participants. These participants may be operators, customers, designers or engineers, each of which have differing needs and roles. Each synthetic environment is therefore intended to assemble information and represent reality in a way that is best suited to a particular activity. The information needs of air operations, simulated manufacture and functional failure analysis for example are quite distinct.

Given the diversity of interests in the development of new systems, a dedicated multi-disciplinary research theme has been established in Synthetic Environments and Systems Simulation. This brings together expertise from across the University in a broad range of technologies which will contribute to air vehicles, their embedded systems, and their operational environment.

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