Forest Fire Area Simulator
Vitrociset and Italian Forestry Corps
Vitrociset, an Italian company at the forefront of implementing technological “life & mission critical” systems, developed the Forest Fire Area Simulator (FFAS), using VBS3 to model and visualize the propagation of forest fires and to train Italian Forestry Corps personnel in the best ways to battle fires.
Repurposing code created for its snow simulation, BISim developed an API that allows developers to create and control an ash layer. BISim also built tree models in different damage states to visualize charred forests. The API also allows swapping trees through their different ‘burnt’ states at runtime to visualize the fire’s progression. Finally, BISim provided animations for characters using a firefighter broom, chainsaw, rake and shovel to apply to Vitrociset’s new Italian Forestry Corps avatars.
The FFAS, designed by Vitrociset, allows the Italian Forestry Corps to train professionals working to counteract the effects of eco-crimes, forest fires, and natural disasters. VBS3 enables them to faithfully recreate scenes of operations with realistic replicas of vehicles and equipment. It offers trainers and scenario administrators flexibility in being able to quickly modify scenarios, control artificially intelligent entities, and train on large virtual terrains.
In addition to the virtual environment, the FFAS includes a control room for command and control operations, systems for teaching responsible management of security and reconnaissance, and systems for teaching investigation practices. The simulator also features an immersion room with 3m x 8m screen providing a 180-degree view of the virtual environment that trainees can interact with using a wireless gamepad, binoculars and tactical radios. The system also incorporates the “TIGER” fire propagation mathematical model developed by the Department of Agriculture at the University of Naples, Federico II.
The FFAS optimizes the debriefing phase after the exercises, which is crucial for analyzing, correcting and improving training, through the ability to record and replay the virtual scenario through the VBS3 After Action Review.
Virtual training for emergency personnel helps trainees mentally prepare for the many possible outcomes of a real emergency situation. The FFAS realized by Vitrociset provides a valuable contribution to the prevention, intervention and investigation work conducted by the Italian Forestry Corps.