Liang, Steve (University of Calgary)
Graham, David (CAE Inc.)
Modern simulations used for individual, crew, and collective training and mission rehearsal are increasingly networked together to compose rich federations of virtual and constructive simulations. Standards have been previously developed and widely adopted for the network protocols and information exchanged in simulation federations, but the synthetic environment (including geospatial content) within which simulation learners are immersed has traditionally been locally generated within each simulator using closely coupled, highly optimized, and generally proprietary data models and encoding formats.
The modeling and simulation end-user community increasingly requires “plug and play” synthetic environment database re-use and a common synthetic environment local representation to enhance realism and “fair fight” concepts in military simulation. Cost benefits by re-using complex curated synthetic environments are one major objective. In military simulation communities, heterogeneous simulations within Live (using real-world vehicles), Virtual (simulations with human-in-the-loop vehicle controllers), Constructive (simulations within which entity dynamics are computer controlled), and Gaming [LVC-G] are being composed on demand; such federations are severely limited by the current common practice using local proprietary data models and formats.
There is evidence of multiple implementations. CAE and its wholly-owned subsidiary Presagis have delivered hundreds of simulation ‘channels’ based on CDB to customers in the U.S. Canada, U.K., Germany, Turkey, Israel, Singapore, Australia, Brunei and others. FlightSafety International (FSI) has independent CDB implementations of CDB based Image Generators and CDB content creation tools. Lockheed-Martin and Rockwell-Collins have provided for database creation tools that can work with CDB as either an input or output format.
The baseline industry-maintained specification is mature and stable; version 1.0 of the specification was first made available for public comment in 2005 The most recent CDB version, (CDB V3.2, released in February, 2014) was developed after receiving input and comments from a User Forum and User Group meetings, and by a leadership board composed of CAE, FSI, and Presagis members.