DRA’s modeling and simulation efforts are focused on bringing the Test Range into the Laboratory. This technology allows the user to immerse the systems under test in the most stressing case environments. It can also showcase technologies in operational environments and provide correlated multi-spectral sensor stimulation.

DRA utilizes the Fast Line-of-sight Imagery for Target and Exhaust-plume Signatures (FLITES) digital model which is an advanced scene generation program capable of producing high-fidelity synthetic signatures for both infrared (IR) and visual applications as illustrated in Figure 1.

FLITES Generated Radiance Image

Figure 1. FLITES Generated Radiance Image

DRA’s Small Sense and Avoid System (SSAASy) has been flight tested in a variety of scenarios. The scenarios vary based on weather/atmospherics, intruder trajectory and orientation, own-ship trajectory and orientation, and intruder type. Flight testing is limited by factors such as cost, intruder availability (type of aircraft), atmospheric variability, and safety concerns regarding the scenarios being tested. DRA utilizes FLITES and other modeling and simulation techniques to bypass some of these limitations by allowing the system to be “flown” in the lab in scenarios and environments not plausible in actual flight tests.

FLITES allows the user to specify sensor characteristics and scenario details and then to generate synthetic video representative of what the actual sensor would have generated under similar flight conditions. AFRL is adapting this model to generate synthetic video representative of video from DRA’s SSAASy III sensors.

Figure 2 illustrates a typical SSAASy flight path that can be analyzed utilizing the FLITES model in conjunction with DRA’s other modeling tools.

Sense and Avoid Flight Path

Figure 2. Sense and Avoid Flight Path

Figure 3 illustrates the simulation of a multi-spectral battlespace. The DRA systems provide high fidelity scene generation and a reconfigurable Man/Machine interface. These capabilities allow the user to showcase technologies in “Pilot” environments. The technology also provides database generation tools for “World Wide” virtual scene generation.

Multi-Spectral Battlespace Representation

Figure 3. Multi-Spectral Battlespace Representation

The Virtual Cockpit Interface shown in Figure 4 is currently running an F-16 simulator code from Lockheed Martin. It contains code “hooks” for ALQ-X, ALR-Y, and is multiple ISR “pod” capable.

Virtual Cockpit Interface

Figure 4. Virtual Cockpit Interface


The virtual test range illustrated in Figure 5 handles many tasks associated with live test ranges such as:

  • Pre-flight Test Planning
  • Extrapolation of Flight Test Results
  • Calibrated to Live Test Range
  • Validated Threat Models
  • Blue Digital System Models
  • Standard Scenarios
  • Replication of Range Terrain 


    Figure 5. Virtual Test Range

Visualization software is handled by Skyview is a scalable 3-D viewer. It is capable of generating battle geometry, communications traffic and communications intercepts. It also has a selectable number of players, sensor volumes, and provides both God’s-eye and Player’s-eye views.