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Research Based Technology

Silent Wings is developed together with leading aerodynamic, mathematical and soaring experts in Norway and Germany. This collaborative research has made it possible to create a product suite with unique power and characteristics.

Our main research partners are Simula Research Laboratory in Norway and Lange Flugzeugbau in Germany.

High Quality Sceneries

Of particular interest is Simulas research on scenery modeling. In this area, Silent Wings and Simula have developed a level-of-detail (LOD) technology that integrates triangulated topographic models, terrain textures, linear features and physical objects in a unified framework geared towards real time visualization. This technology scales almost perfectly with data sizes and allows in principle any resolution for real time rendering.

Silent Wings has been the primary test bed for this technology. In house testes effortlessly run with a resolution of 10 m/sample terrain data and 1 m/pixel texture data covering tens of thousands sq. km. flying areas. In comparison, standard overall resolution for most other simulators is 300 - 1000 m/sample terrain data and 8 - 30 m/pixel texture data. Due to the cost and availability of raw data, Silent Wings normally operates with a 30 m/sample terrain and 4 m/pixel texture data in the product version. However, Silent Wings is positioned to bring into use even higher resolution raw data when this becomes commercially feasible.

A Step Up in Aerodynamics

The Antares electromotor glider, manufactured by Lange Flugzeugbau, possesses extraordinary flying characteristics, something that is largely due to design contributed by Loek Boermanns.

Lange has been an active partner in the development of the aerodynamics technology in the Silent Wings Simulator. This technology is based on true physical principles in that the force field acting on the glider is computed from local air flow over the wing profiles as well as position and movement of the control surfaces (elevator, aileron, and rudder). The force field is represented by a multitude of local force vectors giving rise to correct behavior, even in “asymmetric situations” like for example side-slip, stall and entrance into thermals.

Realistic Weather Models

An experienced soaring pilot understands the dynamics of weather systems and navigates on basis of ground, wind and cloud characteristics. For example, the complex system of thermals (updraft) is driven by the sun heating the ground. This leads to rise of warm air, build-up of cumulus clouds, inflow of cool air, and finally, evaporation of the cumulus clouds.

In Silent Wings, the weather model is constructed through realistic simulation of the physical systems for thermals and wind layers. In fact, the user can judge ground and cloud characteristics in the same way as he does during real physical soaring, and find that the atmospheric properties behave as he would expect.

Thermal modeling in Silent Wings is based on ground heat capacity models deduced from spectral analysis of certain satellite images. This defines a probability distribution for thermals in Silent Wings that closely resembles the distribution of thermals in the physical landscape. With this as a basis the weather model in Silent Wings simulates complete thermal cycles as described above, including build-up and evaporation of clouds. Both the visual and physical realism is astonishing. Combined with the highly realistic aerodynamic models for the aircraft, the overall soaring experience in Silent Wings becomes extremely close to reality.