Sunday, 15 December 2013

ASE, Master Warning and Master Caution

Sales brochures are always a good place to start when you want some screenshots of avionics (that and Google images).

ASE or Aircraft Survivability Equipment - is the name given to a suite of devices that interact, they act as the ears of the aircraft. Our combat game mechanic relies on paranoia, avoid being painted by SAM radar, pinpoint enemy launch systems before they spot you, and eliminate them using your stand-off missile capability.

Listening for enemy radars and presenting this information to the crew is the job of the ASE page. This has inputs for controlling active decoy systems such as the IR Jammer, flare package and radar jamming equipment.

ASE page from sales brocure
My version is looking similar, I can't quite fit everything on as I made the decision a while ago to increase the symbol size by 20% to make MPDs readable in the upright position for typical screen resolutions. The Autopage logic is going to be fun but perhaps not as much fun as the flare dispenser programming. The logic for flares should allow for salvos, interval between salvos and flares per salvo. This should look awesome with the Leadwerks engine lighting. I'm guessing flare programming ends up on the ASE UTIL page in concordance with other page types.

My take on the ASE Page

ASE alongside AIR SURV mode, no rings

I can't tell what the range circles are in scale. Will figure that one out shortly but I'm going to go out on a limb and say 2km per ring....or it's arranged by type with the biggest threat on the inner rings. Easy enough to try both. After trying the ASE with range circles alongside the Air Radar mode it looks confusing. For now I'll leave the rings off the ASE page.

To test the radar detection I'll have to script some radar entities, we don't have any model assets for radar units other than the SA-9. They may end up as deadly green cubes for now. The symbology appears to be the same as the TSD, easy enough.

This just leaves what to do with the symbols for different states. Time to crank out Longbow 2 to get a refresher. I'm looking for:

  • Radar non active
  • Active Radar (uh oh)
  • Tracking Radar (about to have a bad day)
  • Launch Tracking (bad day)
  • Laser warning (LWR)
  • Small Arms Acoustic signature

I realise the final one is a bit of stretch but I'm interested in how well this works after reading about UK Apaches fielding acoustic sensors that not only picked out small arms fire but determine the direction. If it's like equipment tested elsewhere it should be able to determine what weapon is being fired. Useful in a support role. And perhaps too much like voodoo.


More warning tones have been added to the cockpit which are part of the WAC warning and caution system. These audio warnings go off at a regular 5 to 10 second interval until you acknowledge them by pressing the appropriate warning lamp. The Z and X keys have been mapped to the warning and caution ack switches accordingly. If it does it's job it'll have you swearing at it every time it goes off, something the wife can join in with too (and I speak from experience).

Very happy with the team who are finding time to squeeze in what they can especially over the holiday period. Sérgio has been working hard on a new web site and forums for Combat-Helo. No eta on when it goes live. When it launches this blog will be migrating to the new site. To date, my personal dev blog has had nearly half-a-million views, golly.

I'll be sad to see this go but the new site will have everything under one roof. News, updates and forums. Not just for Gunnery but everything we have planned beyond.

Alpha testing will start soon. That's quite a big thing for me. It represents letting go of something I've been really protective about (paranoid even?) for years. More than a few nights crying on sofas with the stress of juggling workloads and expenses. Looking forward to getting a chunk of outstanding work items done over the holidays. If we can cross off a few more big ticket items early next year we can then focus on content.

And now for something slightly different.

Unigine Helicopter Demo

I cant post a blog update this week without mentioning the other amazing thing I saw. Everything I ever wanted in an engine. This week Unigine released video footage from their CIGI compatible Rescue Helicopter demonstrator at I/ITSEC 2003 Orlando Fl. The level of detail is pretty amazing. A physical cockpit with instrument integration, multi screens (client server based) and a totally immersive simulator. Just watch it. And if you've watched it already, watch it again. Kudos to the team that put this together.

The Washington state dataset is about 60GB. Yikes. Not that you really need this level of detail everywhere. I've had a look through it when playing around to take some screen-shots and you can tell there's a lot of data that's been imported from geophysical databases. I look forward to seeing a GROME plugin to export terrain tiles for this engine in the near future. It looks like it should be pretty compatible in terms of workflow and how the tiles are exported. I'm guessing World Machine was used (it was used in the creation of The Valley demo and benchmark).

Letters are powerful. For example, the letter "H" can attract helicopters.*
* Joke stolen from Milton Jones


  1. All very impressive. Glad to hear things are moving along nicely Richard.

  2. Hi...thank You for next great information. I just always thought ASE mean Aircraft Survivability Equipment. :-o Its always good to remind things. :-) That rescue chopper sim is just stunning.

    1. It does, bloody auto-correct at work there. Dammit. Thanks for the heads-up.

  3. About the rings....I can check old Janes Longbow manual. Maybe I will find the answer, but not sure if its gonna be accurate.

    1. I'll check it out tonight. I don't expect this to be fully accurate, I've seen screenshots and magazine prints from a number of sources and they are all different. Probably different from block to block, and even ship to ship as they will have different bits of kit fitted. Since this is one of those areas that is considered classified we just have to come up with something representative rather than accurate. I'm more than fine with that.

    2. Yeah sure. This sim doesnt stand on that.

  4. Very good news for my ears (ummh... eyes). I'm looking forward to have this sim!

  5. You are correct man, ASE MFD page do not have range rings. Version modelled in your simulation is correct.

    I have (probably classyfied) TM 1-1520-251-10 and there is everything about it.
    Just search in google for this field manual and you will find a link for it :-)

    Best regards. macieksoft.

  6. And will be DIRCM modelled? If you are using flares you must have a pod, this pod have a flares and DIRCM devices.