SDS Developed MQ-9 Mission Training Device (MTD) Participates in 2010 Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC)


(SDS) ROVATTS™-based MQ-9 MTD, operated by Air National Guard (ANG) crews, provided highly-effective Reaper capabilities during distributed demonstrations conducted by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) during I/ITSEC 2010. Using the MQ-9 MTD originally developed by SDS’ Advanced Technologies Division, Orlando, Florida to support ANG Reaper crew training, ANG crews participated in a variety of robust demonstration scenarios that allowed them to practice critical Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and weapons delivery mission tasks in a realistic, distributed simulation environment. The ANG crews worked in coordination with a number of other distributed simulations including a game based A-10, as well as F-16, Joint Terminal Attack Controller, and Airborne Warning and Control systems during the simulated theater combat operations training events. The synergism gained by the various assets and platforms working together provided ANG crews with a realistic, challenging simulation environment capable of honing their warfighter skills. The ROVATTS™-based MTD, which was designed for operation in a typical office environment, proved easy to set-up/takedown (less than an hour), reliable (operating virtually error-free throughout all four days of the show), and highly effective due to the realism of the MTD’s hardware and software.


The MQ-9 MTD consists of two tabletop simulator stations that preserve the correct physical layout of the pilot and sensor operator parts of the ground control station, plus a separate laptop-based instructor-operator-station. The pilot and sensor stations include properly sized/positioned flat-panel displays for the head-up-display (HUD), tracker display, and head-down command and status displays; specialized USB-based Desktop Control Units comprised of form/fit/function stick, throttle, keyboard and trackball controls; and game-level rudders. The MTD’s software provides functioning MQ-1 pilot and sensor operator HUD, tracker-map, and head-down-display functionalities (including variable information tables and menu button interfaces). The software also incorporates an SDS-developed high-fidelity Reaper aerodynamics package supporting launch/recovery and mission operations (including flight with turbulence effects/satellite control-delays and GPS approach capabilities); normal and selected emergency procedure functionality; realistic electro-optical/infra-red sensor displays provided by SDS’ AAcuity® PC-IG; and AGM-114 Hellfire missile and GBU-12 laser guided bomb weapons employment capabilities.


ANG MTDs were delivered with virtual terrains including a geo-specific Creech/Nellis AFB area database and a detailed Now Zad, Afghanistan database populated with features (dozens of enterable buildings, city walls, vehicles, moving vegetation (trees/grass), deformed river-beds, irrigation systems, etc.) needed to support realistic training. The MTDs at I/ITSEC also included FalconView/mIRC capabilities and the initial version of SDS’ AAcuity® “Life”-based Scene Content capability (available for all MTDs in 2011) which adds the Artificially-Intelligent (AI)-driven content (vehicles, humans, animals, special-effects) required to support effective ISR/weapons-delivery training in virtually any urban or open-terrain simulation environment. SDS’ MTDs support individual (pilot or sensor operator) and/or crew training in a stand-alone environment, plus distributed training involving a variety of live, virtual and constructive systems in either local or distributed exercises using DIS or HLA connectivity. As such, the MTD represents a low-cost, high-fidelity alternative training system capable of supporting a wide variety of realistic training, mission rehearsal, R&D and T&E applications.


SDS is a veteran-owned, operations-oriented small-business providing a broad range of services to government and commercial clients worldwide. Core competencies include Education and Training, Test and Evaluation, Engineering and Technical Services, Research and Development, and PC-Based Training and Simulation Products.



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