3 December 2013
In a first for the US Air Force, an industry team led by Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC) has successfully conducted a high-fidelity virtual aerial refueling demonstration, networking geographically dispersed flight simulators and providing a realistic simulation of an air-to-air refueling process.
The Air Force Air Mobility Command has pursued integrating the separate systems in use today for training pilots, air crews and boom operators to simulate an actual in-flight refueling mission as a way to maintain readiness and reduce costly live flights.
During the Oct. 30 demonstration, Northrop Grumman connected a pilot in a C-17 transport flight simulator in Texas, an operator in a KC-135 tanker flight simulator in Florida and a boom operator in Oklahoma with all three simulators operating simultaneously via the Mobility Air Forces Distributed Mission Operations test network.
To accomplish this unprecedented interoperability, Northrop Grumman defined more than 70 “physics-based” virtual aerial refueling standards for simulators and implemented them on a distributed integration framework.
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