NPSNET: modeling the in-flight and terminal properties of ballistic munitions
Nash, David Allan
Zyda, Michael J.
Pratt, David R
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Graphical computer simulations provide a means through which weapon prototyping and tactical evaluations can be conducted at low cost, without the risks associated with the movement of equipment and firing of weapons. Because of the widespread use of ballistic munitions in the armed forces, a fundamental aspect of the implementation of such military simulations is a physical model that governs ballistic behavior. The modified point-mass trajectory model is used to implement ballistic trajectories within NPSNET, a real-time, graphical, three-dimensional simulation. A parallel algorithm is used to simulate the visual characteristics of shrapnel-producing explosions. A special case of ballistic trajectories involves the application of indirect fires. When a projectile travels along a curved path to the target area, rather than being propelled directly along the line of sight, much greater ranges can be achieved. This makes it possible to fire upon an enemy without directly exposing the firing elements to harm. As a result of these increased ranges, it is generally not possible for the firing element to acquire its own targets. Thus, an additional player is required to represent this tactic in a virtual world: the forward observer. An expert system is presented that mimics the cognitive contributions of a human forward observer.
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