For realistic training, simulations need to accurately depict how real assets act in a real environment. Today, Lockheed Martin is changing the game when it comes to increased simulation realism with help from Unreal Engine.
Unreal Engine, an open and advanced 3D game engine developed by Epic Games, is engaged in a long-term research and development effort with Lockheed Martin to create more realistic simulation solutions. This technology capitalizes on commercial game engine advancements for an integrated, scalable architecture that leverages an extensible plugin framework for future training and visualization efforts.
Lockheed Martin builds and delivers all sorts of technologies to customers around the world. This collaboration brings commercial and aerospace technologies together to increase customer readiness.
Delivering More to Our Customers
Adam Breed, Strategic Technologies Architect at Lockheed Martin, is focused on simulation and training by making Lockheed Martin's products the best in the industry and effectively creating a safer and better world.
“When Unreal Engine comes into play, it allows Lockheed Martin to lead ahead and focus on the things that we're good at doing. For instance, integrating avionics systems and creating immersive learning environments,” Adam said. “Unreal Engine can support us with visualizations, the architecture of the gaming and simulation environments. As a result, we can utilize what Lockheed Martin brings to the table while leveraging the best of the gaming industry to make it a security-oriented product.”
Games Being Used to Save Lives
The idea that game-based experiences are only used for entertainment is no longer the case. Similar to how the aerospace industry is rapidly evolving with new technology, game-engine technology is also changing.
The gaming capabilities that were previously used for entertainment can now be used to teach operational personnel. The same thing that is entertaining can also be educational.
Trainees are used to seeing these crystal-clear visuals in today’s commercial video games. So, they now expect to see this same eye-catching realism in the simulations Lockheed Martin delivers.
“Lockheed Martin is focused on providing training in a lot of ways. The game-engine technology has advanced so fast, and those lines have now blurred significantly,” Breed said. “Concepts like photo-realistic worlds make better-educated pilots and operators. The more real it is, the easier it is to educate somebody.”
A New Way to Train
“One of the big differences of utilizing Unreal Engine is that you typically used to have to build very isolated experiences, each separate from one another,” Breed said. “You either built a ground vehicle training device that was focused on very high-quality visuals that were from the ground perspective, or you would focus on large-scale perspectives or flight training. This used to have to be done differently because the engines were only optimized to go one way.”
By leveraging next-generation training solutions from Lockheed Martin with Unreal Engine at their core, customers reap all new benefits.
“The open nature of Unreal Engine allows us to create bits and pieces and swap them out when needed,” Breed said. “This allows Lockheed Martin to develop more partnerships with more of the commercial industry for larger scale applications.”
Now, with the help of Unreal Engine’s innovative technologies, Lockheed Martin can bring it all together to create a joint world with higher fidelity and better visuals. In turn, this brings gaming technology and solutions to the aerospace community across the world to support their increased mission readiness.