NASA taps NVIDIA Quadro GPU technology to build ultra-high-resolution flight simulators

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif., 7 Dec. 2012. Young military pilots starting their flying careers have 20/13 eyesight, which enables them to see far more detail than most visual systems provide; yet, most flight simulators only offer 20/40 vision–meaning that important details are often blurred or not easily identifiable to the pilot.

Engineers at NASA Ames Research in Moffett Field, Calif., have been co-developing a visual system for a flight simulator with the United States Air Force Research Labs (AFRL); NASA and AFRL engineers will use the device to explore the various elements of vision within a flight simulator where the acuity of the displayed images will be 20/10.

John Archdeacon, lead IG (Image Generator) developer at NASA Ames Research, describes the device and the process below and in his blog.

The simulator uses nine 4K (4096×2160) projectors in a dome; the images overlap and are edge-blended to provide the pilot a seamless view of the simulated outside world at more than 36 times the resolution of a standard high-definition television (HDTV).

An Image Generator (IG) is the name given to the collection of computers, graphics subsystems, visual databases, and control and rendering software operating together to graphically simulate synthetic worlds in real time.

“Traditionally, a large cluster of computers would be used to drive a configuration likes ours. If we configured the USAF simulator with a traditional IG architecture, maintaining a 60 frames-per-second update rate would require 36 computers, each rendering a small portion of the screen. These clusters are large, complex and can be difficult to manage,” says Archdeacon. “For this project, we used NVIDIA’s Quadro SVS technology and reduced the overall complexity down to five computers, each driving multiple Quadro GPUs and Quadro Sync cards to one or two 4K dome projectors.”

NASA—together with NVIDIA, Sony, and VDC Display Systems—presented its work on this simulator at the I/ITSEC tradeshow in Orlando.

Follow Avionics Intelligence news updates on Twitter (@Avionics_Intel), LinkedIn, and Google+.

Get the Intelligent Inbox Bi-weekly Newsletter Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest information on:

  • Commercial Aviation
  • Avionics
  • ATC/ATM
  • SATCOM

Most Popular Articles


Press Releases

CURTISS-WRIGHT AWARDED CONTRACT BY SIERRA NEVADA CORPORATION

Curtiss-Wright Corporation today announced that its Defense Solutions division has received a contract...

Innovative Integration Announces the FMC-Servo

Camarillo, CA June 19, 2015, Innovative Integration, a trusted supplier of signal processing and data ...

METADATA SUPPORT ENHANCES INDUSTRY-LEADING HD VIDEO MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FROM CURTISS-WRIGHT

Curtiss-Wright Corporation today announced that its Defense Solutions division has further enhanced it...

Related Products

RR2P Removable Canister RAID System

Transportable data storage for mobile field use aboard planes, ships and ground transpo...

API DC Link Power Film Capacitors

High reliability DC link capacitors for power inverter applications which require super...

Light Curing Systems

Master Bond offers a large family of light curing products that cure upon exposure to a...

Related Companies

GE Intelligent Platforms

Provides software, hardware and services with expertise in automation and embedded computing. We ...

Innovative Integration

  Since 1988, Innovative Integration has grown to become one of the world's leading supplier...

Winchester Systems Inc

At its founding in 1981, Winchester Systems introduced its first 5 MB disk system for Intel devel...

All Access Sponsors


Follow Us On...