News & Events

FLAMES 4.1 Released

Huntsville, AL – June 8, 2000 – FLAMES® version 4.1 has been released. Customers with active software maintenance will receive this major new release automatically.

While some of the enhancements embodied in version 4.1 are immediately obvious, many of the most exciting enhancements were made “under the hood”. These changes will make FLAMES more capable and more reliable than ever, lay the foundation for the enhancements planned for future versions, and continue to increase the distinction between FLAMES and competing products. A summary of some of the more visible changes is provided below.

FLAMES Product Line Restructuring Provides Flexibility in System Configurations and Pricing

One of the most substantial changes in version 4.1 is the difference in the structure of product line. FLAMES 4.1 is cleanly separated into 11 main products – the Kernel, four applications, and six optional modules. This separation will allow customers to purchase only the FLAMES products that they require and thereby minimize their cost. A brief summary of each product is shown in the table below.

Product Brief Description
Kernel Set of core services upon which all FLAMES applications and options are based.
FORGE Graphics-based application for defining and editing FLAMES scenarios.
FIRE Application for executing FLAMES scenarios in either batch or interactive modes.
FLASH Graphics-based application for visualizing scenario activity during or after scenario execution.
FLARE Application for performing numerical analysis of scenario results using the FLAMES Relational Database Engine option.
DTED Option Option for FORGE, FIRE, and FLASH. Allows Digital Terrain Elevation Data (DTED) to be imported in to the FLAMES database and used in all model calculations and display operations that involve the terrain.
Relational Database Engine Option Standard in FLARE. Option for FORGE and FIRE to allow Cognitive Models to store information in an in-memory relational database. Database is manipulated using an extended subset of the industry standard Structured Query Language.
Sensor Coverage Analysis Option Option for FORGE to allow static, 2D sensor coverage diagrams to be displayed based on full sensor model detection processing (not just line-of-sight tests).
Interactive Server Option Option for FIRE to allow interactive scenario execution with virtual simulators and real-world command, control, and communications systems.
Interactive Client Option Set of services callable from any application to allow it to communicate interactively with FIRE (and the Interactive Server Option) during scenario execution.
Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) Option

Option for FIRE to allow it to participate in DIS exercises. (Node-Locked and Floating) products available.

As has been the case with FLAMES products in the past, most of the 4.1 products will be available in both runtime and development configurations.

Existing FLAMES customers with active software maintenance will receive information by mail prior to the release of version 4.1 that explains how their 4.0 products will convert to the equivalent 4.1 products.

New Product Licensing Approach

FLAMES version 4.1 uses FLEXlm® developed by GLOBEtrotter Software® to manage software licenses. With this enhancement, all FLAMES runtime products will be licensed based on the number of concurrent users. The new licensing approach will support a new type of license, a network floating license, and continue to support node-locked licenses.

Existing FLAMES customers with active software maintenance will receive information by mail prior to the release of version 4.1 that explains how their 4.0 licenses will convert to the equivalent 4.1 user-based licenses.

On-line and Printed Documentation

All FLAMES documentation has been converted to an on-line format to make it easily accessible to users and developers of FLAMES applications. Windows NT applications use the Microsoft HTML Help format, and UNIX applications use an HTML browser format. All documentation has been reorganized to parallel the new 4.1 product line structure, and additional manuals have been developed. Each manual will also be provided in separate file suitable for printing.

Support for Atmosphere Modeling

A new class of environment model, the Atmosphere model, is supported in version 4.1. Atmosphere models represent the properties of the atmosphere (such as pressure, density, temperature, humidity, and wind speed) in arbitrarily shaped volumes in space. An example model based on the U.S. Standard Atmosphere 1976 will be included with version 4.1. Any number of atmosphere volumes can be defined for a given scenario, each with different properties. Custom atmosphere models can also be added.

Additional Support for C++

Several additions have been made to version 4.1 to allow more complete support for model development in the C++ programming language. These changes include updates to all include files to allow them to be included in C++ source code files without the use of the extern “C” directive and the creation of C++ base classes that can be inherited more easily by equipment models written in C++. The FLAMES Code Generator (provided with the Kernel Development product) has also been enhanced to support the generation of model code in C++. The development of models in the C programming language is still fully supported.

User Interface Enhancements

Several enhancements have been made to the user interface of all version 4.1 graphical applications, most notably FORGE. General enhancements include the addition of Close buttons on nearly all windows, the use of pull-down fields, and the addition of horizontal scroll bars on multi-line text fields. Enhancements to FORGE include the generation of warnings if an attempt is made to exit FORGE without saving all scenario data and support for loading scenarios that were created by other FLAMES users.

Additional Example Source Code

Version 4.1 of the Kernel Development product includes much more example model source code than what was included with previous versions of FLAMES. The source code to all example models, including atmosphere, attributes, effects, and features, will be included as well as the source code to all non-kernel utility functions called by models.

Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) Option Upgrades

The DIS Option has been reorganized, enhanced, and documented to greatly simplify the development of custom PDU processing objects. The source code to all example PDU processing objects will be included with the DIS Development Option product. The DIS Option will also be available in Runtime Node-Locked (single user) and Floating (based on simultaneous users) license configurations.

DTED Option Upgrades

The Digital Terrain Elevation Data (DTED) Option has been enhanced to support a wider range of data resolutions. In addition, support has been added for DTED datasets that span the International Date Line.