S-PLANE’s Automation Solutions are supported by sophisticated Simulation Solutions, including Flight and Mission Simulation and Hardware-In-the-Loop Simulation (HILS). Flight and Mission Simulation is integral to S-PLANE’s Tactical Deployment Unit (TDU), normally installed within a Ground Control Station (GCS). This type of simulation is used for training purposes and to allow operators to optimise and practice real missions before they are flown. HILS is an essential modern tool for integration and testing. At S-PLANE, HILS supports automated execution of acceptance tests as part of an efficient system engineering tool chain.

Flight and Mission Simulation is performed from within the TDU within the GCS and can also be implemented as a stand-alone appliance. This is a high fidelity simulator employing precise aircraft, atmospheric, magnetic, geospacial, gravitational, sensor, actuator and other models to deliver realistic simulated behaviour. For automated aircraft (OPVs and UAVs), single or multiple instances of the aircraft’s flight automation software are run directly within the simulation in order to interact comprehensively with GCS systems and operators. Video streams are rendered and streamed in order to generate simulated payload, flight and situational views.

The HILS Integrated Test Station (HILS-ITS) attaches automated aircraft to a very high fidelity simulation system in order to put them through their paces without leaving the ground. The HILS-ITS is a rugged, transportable 19-inch rack-based unit allowing system integrators to perform detailed HILS during initial, production and post-maintenance integration phases for automated aircraft. It is used to power critical aircraft sub-systems, integrates those sub-systems into a simulation environment and provides break-out connections to essential system ports in order to verify that those critical sub-systems are functioning properly, as per specified acceptance test procedures.

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