FLAMES® includes robust support for modeling the terrain (the shape of the earth’s surface) and cultural features that are embedded within the terrain or that lie on top of the terrain. Terrain can be modeled in two different ways:

FLAMES Digital Terrain – Simple terrain representation based on Digital Terrain Elevation Data (DTED) files. Support for this type of terrain is described below and is included in all FLAMES Runtime Suite applications.

FLAMES Advanced Correlated Terrain (FACT) – Detailed terrain and cultural feature representation based on terrain databases generated by a third-party terrain database generation package. Support for this type of terrain is provided by the FLAMES 3D option.

FLAMES Digital Terrain

FLAMES Digital Terrain can be created by directly importing one or more standard Digital Terrain Elevation Data (DTED) files that are readily available from a number of government and commercial sources. DTED files store the elevation of the earth’s surface at regular intervals within an area that is one degree in longitude wide by one degree in latitude tall. DTED data can be imported using the FLAMES Digital Terrain Importer.

Once DTED files are imported, the elevation data can be used by models to support their calculations, such as sensor models that consider the terrain in their line-of-sight calculations and ground vehicle models that move a vehicle over the surface of the terrain. The data can also be used by FORGE and FLASH to render 2D and optional 3D displays of the terrain. However, since DTED files contain only elevation data, FLAMES Digital Terrain does not support queries and calculations involving cultural features (such as roads, buildings, and bodies of water).

2D elevation contour map created from FLAMES Digital Terrain data

2D elevation contour map created from FLAMES Digital Terrain data.