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Guided Missile Program

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Guided Missile Program

Postby DavidGMII » Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:55 pm

Much progress has been achieved in the air combat realm of flightgear with the bombable script and small missile and guided missile programs such as for the tomcat (by xiii I believe). However, I don’t think enough attention has been given to air combat against other MP aircraft. The bombable does allow some influence with certain aircraft, such as the sopwith camel. This topic is all about brainstorming and developing a guided missile “package” that could be placed on virtually any aircraft. I’ve made a list of 9 things that we need (and 1 thing we don’t need ;) ) to accomplish this. I might add that I am not a coder, with only limited experience in xml.

1. Ideal “Package” to fit on any aircraft
2. A “mode” to allow/disallow other’s to influence your aircraft
3. Coder
4. Guidance
5. Tracking Limitations
6. Fuse
7. AI Model
8. Over MP
9. Aircraft Damage over MP
10. Problems


1. “Package”
This ideal “package” would enable anyone to add these guided missiles to any aircraft in flightgear relatively easily, perhaps like the addition of guns. For instance, the AI model could be in an already designated spot in fg so that all aircraft grab their data from it, instead of pulling it from the individual aircraft files.

2. “Mode”
This is extremely important, and already in use by the mp bombable (you can check/uncheck mp mode). Without this you can imagine the problems at KSFO and elsewhere.

3. Coder

Like I said previously, I am not a coder. What this missile program needs is a coder that could tell us whether a particular idea could actually be coded, or perhaps if there’s a better idea out there to solve the same problem. After we’ve created this “model” we’d need another coder to actually code the material into a “package”. Without the fabulous coders, this program is sunk.

4. Guidance

The missile can be guided by possibly:
1. A form of radar, like that of the HUD of the firing platform. Since radar is used in fg, I wonder if there’s any way to utilize that aspect.
2. Possibly something like what’s in use in the “wingman” scenarios
3. xiii made a guided missile for the tomcat – it might be worthwhile to check out what the guidance method used by that missile was.

5. Tracking Limitations

Tracking limitations would enable the targeted aircraft to maneuver, and theoretically break the missile lock. Otherwise any missile shot would be a sure kill.

1. Have set G limits on the missile, much like many planes in fg use to either break the wings, or “freeze” the plane until the Gs are relaxed. In this case however, you might be able to make the missile simply fly off in a straight line.
2. Set a range of degrees, for instance the missile can track the target out to 45 degrees off its (the missile’s) nose.
3. Perhaps it would be possible to make it such that if the firing platform is pointed below 0 degrees vertically, then the performance of the missile is degraded by 25 - 50 percent (example). This would take into account the terrain’s signature, making a shot from the bottom up (looking up) more desirable than that from the top down.
4. Range limitations are of course necessary, but shouldn’t be too hard to implement, for instance the missile could simply run out of fuel, or even better, time.
5. Min. Range is of course necessary.
6. There is still the problem of head – on missile strikes, which is unrealistic unless it’s radar guided. (I’m assuming here that this missile is a sidewinder). I’m not a coder, so I don’t know if its possible to make rear quarter shots only. If not, then perhaps there could be a limitation on the closure rate between the two aircraft.



6. Fuse

The fuse could simply be similar to what’s in use in the bombable script for the guns, or what these unguided missiles use. I don’t know if they both use the same system, but both seem to work reasonably well. Again, it might be worthwhile to check out what xii’s fuse was.

7. AI Model

The AI model would not have to be anything fancy; in fact it could simply be smoke contrails. I’m not positive if this is in use on the unguided missiles on the F-4 and mig 21 (See here: http://bit.ly/fO0S8H), but that seems to work fairly well. It might be nice for a missile model to “appear” when you fire the missile for aesthetic purposes, but the smoke would be more important to enable the targeted aircraft to see and defeat the launch. Of course both would be great. In fact the actual model/detonation is probably the least of our worries.

8. Over MP

A few ideas I came up with are something like what’s in use in the Me 262 (black smoke contrails) or similarly, in the F-4 phantom from Dave’s Hangar, that, when it reaches altitude, and you pull hard, grey smoke appears over MP. Another example of this is the wildfire simulation, so it doesn’t seem that the missile launch should be too hard to see over mp. Thoughts?

9. Aircraft Damage over MP

This is probably the hardest part of the entire program. I can’t think of any current features in fg that allow you to influence someone else’s aircraft, except maybe the glider, or pushback, but these aren’t really in the same category as aircraft damage. One option would be to “freeze” the aircraft in the air such as in a collision. What would be ideal though would be to have it so that the targeted aircraft’s speed suddenly hits 0 and maybe the application of full left or right rudder, causing the aircraft to plummet into the ground (at low alt). Turning off the engine might also be a possibility as would zero fuel.

10. Problems

Problems still exist. I’ll update this part of the post as more problems are pointed out as we go along.

1. Head – on missile attacks can be done, making a rear quarter shot unnecessary, which is highly unrealistic, unless it’s a radar guided missile. It would be nice to implement something that would only work in RQ situations rather than all aspect.
2. How would the missile differentiate between 2 aircraft ahead of it? Of course, it might be best if it couldn't differentiate, keeping realism.

11. Questions
1. Is there a way to track the rear quarter of an aircraft?
2. Is there a known way to allow influence on someone's aircraft?
3. Could there be a difference between a radar and IR guided missile in fg aside from range? (eg. IR are RQ only, and radar can be all aspect)

********************************************

Ok, there it is, some thoughts and ideas I came up with to start the development of a guided missile. Most of these ideas are probably rather clumsy, and could be improved upon, and some disregarded all together, but I mentioned them because maybe the thought wheels out there will start churning :D If you have any ideas, please mention them even if they aren't the most brilliant, because maybe that thought will give someone else a lead. ;)

Comments? Questions? Thoughts?

David.
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Re: Guided Missile Program

Postby ofna01 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:52 pm

Yeah,I think this could work,I'll do some research and see about the fuse,see if their impact-sensitive or time-sensitive
Otherwise,good luck on this!



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Re: Guided Missile Program

Postby DavidGMII » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:50 pm

Thanks ofna01 ;)
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Re: Guided Missile Program

Postby ofna01 » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:55 pm

Alright,i got the information about the fuse
it turns out it's both timed and impact-sensitive
because if the missle misses the enemy plane,you dont want to blow up someone's house
hope this helped
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Re: Guided Missile Program

Postby Groucho » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:41 pm

Well I think it is even worse because for good realism you would also have to take in account counter measures like foil, flares and radar jamming which make an important contribution to evasive manoevers.
Especially radar jamming is a challenge thinking of one aircraft being in the area jamming radar while another plane is attacked by a radar guided missile depending on distance and intensiveness of the signal with the important factor being the distance to the jamming craft, not the targeted one.
Then there is the stealth factor based on radar silhouettes- firing a AIM54 to a Mig29 will probably give better effectiveness than eg. firing it on a F117.

As with most military equipment realism in FlightGear pretty much reaches its limits as we are coping with state-of-the-art technology which details are pretty much disclosed and more than an version which is extremely simplified (compared to the real thing) is not feasible.

However it will be interesting to see (from a technical point of view) how you solve those issues so good luck here.
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