Aussie Flight Simulator


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This is supposedly a true story from a recent Defence Science Lectures
Series, as related by the head of the Australian DSTO's Land
Operations/Simulation division.

They'd been working on some really nifty virtual reality simulators,
the case in point being to incorporate Armed Reconnaissance
Helicopters into exercises (from the data fusion point of view). Most
of the people they employ on this sort of thing are ex- (or future)
computer game programmers. Anyway, as part of the reality parameters,
they include things like trees and animals. For the Australian
simulation they included kangaroos. In particular, they had to model
kangaroo movements and reactions to helicopters (since hordes of
disturbed kangaroos might well give away a helicopter's position).

Being good programmers, they just stole some code (which was
originally used to model infantry detachment reactions under the same
stimuli), and changed the mapped icons, the speed parameters, etc. The
first time they demonstrated this to some visiting Americans, the
hotshot pilots decided to get "down and dirty" with the virtual
kangaroos. So, they buzzed them, and watched them scatter. The
visiting Americans nodded appreciatively... then gaped as the
kangaroos ducked around a hill, and launched about two dozen Stinger
missiles at the hapless helicopter. The programmers looked rather
embarrassed at forgetting to remove *that* part of the infantry
coding... and the Americans left muttering comments about not wanting
to mess with the Aussie wildlife....

As an addendum, simulator pilots from that point onwards avoided
kangaroos like the plague, just like they were meant to do in the
first place....





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