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Luftwaffe (German Air Force), on behalf of Carl Zeiss AG, Jena

Upgrade of four 360° 7.5m fulldome projection systems to 17-channel WQXGA-projection for EUROFIGHTER Full Mission Simulators (FMS) at the air bases Wittmund, Laage, Neuburg, Noervenich, where the Tactical Air Force Wings are stationed. All projectors have been upgraded to LED lately in co-operation with ZEISS.


In the course of the complete renewal of the visual display system of four german Eurofigher Full Mission Simulators (ASTA FMS) and of four Cockpit Trainers (ASTA CT) by the main contractor CAE we have been commissioned as systems integrator to develop the immersive dome projection based on ZEISS VELVET WQXGA-projectors. All projectors have again been upgraded to LED lateron in co-operation with ZEISS. ProjectionTools auto-calibration has been especially adapted to this projector type together with the semiautomatic color calibration. The immersive visual display system represents now the reference of what was technically possible at the time of the order.
Our tasks consisted of the complete visual display system layout, mounting stage construction and integration of the 17 projectors and of the corresponding warp & blend hardware per each FMS.
Special project challenges were on the one hand the restricted space inside the only 7.5m wide 360° Fulldome concerning the large number of projector channels and on the other hand the tight timeframe for project planning and upgrading: finally, we have realized the four FMS – upgrades as well as the construction and implementation of the four cockpit trainer (ASTA CT) visuals at the air bases Wittmund, Laage, Neuburg, Noervenich within only 24 months.
After the upgrade, the air force pilots are excited about the terrifically raised immersion of the simulation thanks to the highly increased resolution and contrast values, a perfect calibration and the possibility to support realistic night vision by projection of an absolutely black picture. The auto calibration guarantees drastically reduced maintenance downtime, weekly automated re-calibration to preserve the perfect picture within minutes as well as simplified maintenance in case of hardware trouble.

The EUROFIGHTER FMS Full Mission Simulators are located at the air bases Wittmund, Laage, Neuburg and Noervenich, where the Tactical Air Force Wings are stationed.
ASTA (Aircrew Synthetic Training Aids) FMS is not only just one simulator but a networked set consisting of FMS and cockpit trainer (CT). FMS is an exact replica of the Eurofighter cockpits including a HUD (Head Up Display), a special seat for simulation of G-forces and a complete avionic- and sensor-suit for tactical trainings. By using FMS complex scenarios like threats by surface-to-air missiles (SAM) or electronic warfare are trained.
The Cockpit Trainer (CT) is used to train cockpit familiarisation, emergency procedures and training scenarios with reduced complexity, whilst simulated flights can be witnessed live in the training rooms. The CT is equipped with a less complex visual display system than the FMS and is not equipped with a G-seat.
The extremely high visual accuracy and immersion of the simulation allows for a multitude of realistic “Combat ready” training scenarios from basic training to night- and formation flying, tactics up to dogfights and electronic warfare.