DCS: Ka-50 Black Shark
Ka-50 Systems Modeling
Helicopter Dynamics Modeling
The hydraulic system
Ka-50 Avionics Systems Overview
Advanced Moving Map System AMMS (ABRIS)
“Rubicon” Targeting-Navigation System
“Radian” Navigation System
I-251 ?Shkval? System
“Ranet” Information Display System
Head-up display (HUD) ILS-31
Helmet-Mounted Sight (HMS)
OVN-1 Night Vision Goggles
Inertial Navigation System
Air Data System
Doppler Navigation System
L-140 “Otklik” Laser Warning Receiver
UHF Radio R-800
Automatic Direction Finder (ADF) ARK-22
Artificial Intelligence (AI) Aircraft
Ground Vehicles, Ships and Weapons
AI Helicopters Flight Model
Black Shark World
Radio Navigation and Physics Modeling
Ground Vehicles, Ships and Weapons
- The stable of active ground vehicles available from the mission editor has been greatly expanded. These new models include new vehicle types as well as substantial improvements to existing vehicles from “Flaming Cliffs”. The level or 3D object detail, textures and animations have been radically improved in comparison with “Flaming Cliffs”.
- Each ground vehicle can now use multiple types of weapons simultaneously. For example: a tank can now engage other ground vehicles with its main gun while at the same time engaging aircraft and infantry with heavy and light machine guns. This results in a much more realistic engagement process for ground vehicles.
- The ballistic algorithms for cannons and guns have been radically improved to include full physics modeling. Flight of such projectiles is now very realistic.
- Groups or ground vehicles now use much more advanced algorithms to determine how the group will distribute its fire power, alter its movement, and change its formation to best react to a target/threat. This has led to much more realistic ground battles in which units behave with intelligence.
- The simulation algorithms of ground vehicles, ships and weapons had been improved to provide a significant system performance improvement. This allows users to place many detailed units in a mission without a large system performance penalty.
- All vehicles now include several Level Of Detail (LOD) and also help assist in system performance.
- Leg infantry units are now included.
AI Helicopters Flight ModelThe flight dynamic model of AI helicopters (hereinafter referred to as the “AI model”) in “DCS : Black Shark” is a simplified version of the “advanced model”, used for human-controlled helicopters. However, it is still based on the same equations of calculating realistic motion. The standard model provides realistic trajectories of motion and effects of control inputs during maneuvers.
The primary feature of AI model is an approximation of forces that are applied to the rigid body of a helicopter. With the AI model, aerodynamics forces on the chassis and forces from the rotors are calculated by using the same algorithms as in the advanced model with some simplifications to reduce unnecessary calculations. For example: the standard model rotor model calculates the inductive speed and the thrust in same manner as the advanced model but with a reduced number of calculated segments taken into account. The flap motion of blades and lift vector of the rotor are calculated using current flight parameters and control inputs.
The aerodynamic portion of the AI model includes a dynamic calculation of the fuselage as a source of aerodynamic drag and as an empennage that provides the flight stability. Every AI helicopter in the DCS series has its own unique set of empennages and fuselage air flow properties.
As in the advanced model, the AI helicopters can use tricycle landing gear that is composed of wheels, a compression strut and a nonsymmetrical shock absorber.
The modeling of a unique fuselage and empennages that comprise an AI helicopter provide realistic flight properties when a helicopter is damaged. This is done by removing destroyed aircraft elements from the aerodynamic calculations. Tail rotor, stub-wings, parts of the main rotor (rotors), etc can be lost.
Even though controlled by the computer, the AI must still control the helicopter by inputs to the rudder pedals, cyclic and collective. The AI control algorithms take into account the flight limitations for each type of helicopter.
Black Shark World“DCS: Black Shark” operations will be based in the western Caucus region and will include portions of Russia, Georgia and a small part of Turkey. With Russia, special attention is paid to the Krasnodarskiy, Karachayrvo-Cherkesiya, Kabardino-Balkariya and Stavropol’skey regions. Some of this area will be recognizable from “Flaming Cliffs”, but “DCS: Black Shark” has added a considerable new amount of terrain, particularly much of Georgia. The “DCS: Black Shark” map is approximately 330,000 sq. km of ground and sea area.
The map includes a wide array of topography that includes plains, agriculture fields, forests, hills, mountains, streams, rivers, lakes and seas.
The detail of the terrain height map has been increased in “DCS: Black Shark” in order to provide a more realistic height field to fly over in a helicopter at low altitude. Given the nature of attack helicopter operations, having a detailed height map was a must-have. Large portions of the “DCS: Black Shark” terrain height elevation matrix contain twice the number of triangles that were used to create the “Flaming Cliffs” terrain.
The terrain elevation matrix is particularly detailed in the Mineralnye Vody area of the map. The left image above shows the elevation matrix from the same height as the previous images. The right image above shows the center of the area but at twice the scale (zoomed in). Note that the mesh is still looking very detailed.
Two examples of increased terrain mesh detail. To the left is the area between Tuapse and Sochi and to the right is an example of the Batumi region.
In addition to a finer terrain height mesh, we have also increased the resolution of the terrain textures for population centers, agricultural fields, and airbases. The other texture areas have been modified to more accurately conform to the terrain height matrix. The below images compare the same region in “Flaming Cliffs” and “DCS: Black Shark”. The combination of the more detailed height map and the high-resolution ground textures provide for a much more detailed terrain environment to fly and fight over.
Examples of normal terrain mesh and textures on left and improved terrain mesh and improved textures on the right.
With the expanded terrain, we have also added numerous towns, cities, roads, rail lines, power lines, forests, rivers, streams and many other features to populate the world. In regards to both the new and existing terrain from “Flaming Cliffs”, we have increased the detail and object / road density. Many of the buildings will also receive a face-lift with upgraded detail.
To support air operations in the new areas, “DCS: Black Shark” has added six new airfields, two in Russian and four in Georgia. These new air bases are represented by the light-blue dots in the image at the beginning of this section.
To give the small streams a more natural look, “DCS: Black Shark” will include animation to the water texture. The below images compare streams in “Flaming Cliffs” and “DCS: Black Shark”.
Static example of river on at the top and animated river below
Radio Navigation and Physics ModelingDCS: Black Shark features an authentic model of radio navigation equipment. The DCS world includes various radio navigation aids available in the theater of operations modeled in the simulation, including:
- Non-Directional Beacon (NDB)
- Airfield Outer Locator NDB
- Airfield Inner Locator NDB
- NDB Marker
- Broadcasting station
- ILS Marker
The DCS Ka-50 model includes the following radio equipment:
- ARK-22 Automatic Direction Finder (ADF)
- Beacon ID Receiver
- R-800L UHF radio
- R-828 UHF radio
- SPU-9 intercom
- ABRIS Advanced Moving Map System (AMMS)
The ARK-22 ADF controls the Radio Magnetic Indicator (RMI) needle on the Horizontal Situation Indicator (HSI), pointing it in the direction of the transmitting signal. Using the ADF, the pilot can select one of eight preset channels, each of which stores two radio frequencies. Upon reaching the transmitter of the currently selected frequency, the ADF automatically begins homing on the second and vice versa. Alternatively, the pilot can manually select which of the two frequencies on the selected channel to home on. For example, the first frequency in a given ADF channel may be set to home on the airfield outer locator beacon and the second on the inner locator beacon, etc. The pilot can verify selection of the correct beacon by configuring the ADF to provide an audio transmission of the beacon’s ID. While in real life the frequencies for each ADF channel are set by ground personnel, the DCS player can edit these in the ADF configuration files outside the simulation.
Using the ABRIS AMMS, the pilot can select any radio station in the database to guide to or obtain more information on, including its code and ID. Using the ABRIS Options page, the player can assign the ABRIS RMI 1 and/or 2 needles on the ARC and HSI pages to display the radio beacon azimuth.
The SPU-9 intercom system provides audio and microphone transmission for the pilot. It can be set to UHF1 (R-828), UHF2 (R-800L1), KV (ADF and Marker Beacon), and NOP (ground link).
The R-828 radio is used for communication with combat ground units and is not part of the navigation equipment.
The DCS radio physics model calculates every transmission in real time and determines the local signal strength according to numerous variables, including time of day (ionosphere effect), surface type (rough terrain, paved surface, water, etc.), distance to transmitter, transmitter power, etc. Because radio traffic is carried “live,” reception can be interrupted at any point by either natural or artificial interference, such as terrain topology or radio configuration. For example, if the player changes his radio frequency, reception will cease, but can resume at its actual point upon reconfiguring the radio back to the transmitter’s frequency. AI units react to radio calls only if transmission is successful.
The frequency configuration files allow the DCS player to configure the various frequencies used by in-game units, including own flight, tower, AWACS, etc.
The Ka-50 hydraulic system is used to provide hydraulic power to various helicopter systems. This consists of two subsystems:
- The main hydraulic system supplies the flight control servo actuators for pitch, bank, yaw and collective. In case of a common system failure, it also ensures emergency landing gear extension.
- The common system supplies the landing gear extend/retract system, the main wheels brakes and cannon steering. In case of a main system failure, it supplies the flight control servo actuators.
Each system consists of a hydraulic pump, a hydraulic fluid tank, filters, valves, pipes and control elements. The pressure source for both systems is provided by variable displacement pumps. The main system’s pump is mounted on the left accessory gearbox of the main gearbox, and it operates when the rotors are driven by the engines and also when in autorotation. The common system’s pump is mounted on the aft accessory gearbox of the main gearbox, and it operates when the rotors are turning or when the APU is on.
There are hydraulic accumulators in each system to prevent pressure oscillations. In the brake system there is a separate accumulator to power the parking brakes (for up to 2 hours) after engines shut down, or power the brakes during taxi in case of a common system failure. The main system’s tank has a capacity of 13 liters and the common system tank has a capacity of 17 liters.
Hydraulic system control is through fluid pressure and temperature indicators and the pressure switches. The indicators are located on the upper part of the cockpit control panel. The indicators include marks that specify the operating range of each indicator:
- Main and common systems pressure indicators. Marks for 64 and 90 kgf/cm3
- Accumulator pressure. Marks for 60 and 90 kgf/cm3.
- Brake system pressure indicator. Marks for 0 and 22 kgf/cm3.
- Systems fluid temperature indicators. Marks for -10°С and +90°С
- Pressure operating range 65…90 kgf/cm3
- Fluid temperature in flight no more than +85°С
Pressure switches are installed in:
- Flight controls servo actuators to indicate pressure drop
- Wheel brake system to indicate pressure drop in the accumulator
- In the tanks pressurization line