Unmanned Systems Technology 026 I Tecdron TC800-FF I Propellers I USVs I AUVSI 2019 part 1 I Robby Moto UAVE I Singular Aircraft FlyOx I Teledyne SeaRaptor I Simulation & Testing I Ocean Business 2019 report

84 I mprovements in processor performance, and the availability of massive amounts of that processing power in data centres, has allowed unmanned systems to be simulated in detail as standalone designs and within simulated environments. This in turn is allowing virtual models of unmanned vehicles, and the underlying real hardware and software, to be tested in thousands of different scenarios. This is also becoming essential in the certification process, as regulators look increasingly at using the virtual environments to demonstrate the functional safety of vehicle designs. That is then leading to the creation of ‘golden models’ against which systems will be tested. Digital twins Traditional driving simulators are combined with tools for developing models, system architectures, wiring harnesses and complex control software. All of this leads to the ability to create a virtual model – a digital twin – of an entire vehicle, whether it is a driverless car or a UAV. The digital twin can be built using behavioural models at the chip level, through the vehicle and even up to the virtual city model level. Behavioural models, as the name suggests, provide the behaviour of a device or vehicle and so are simpler and therefore run faster than the fully-fledged design. The value of a digital twin is that it can be used to explore different design options, and test those options using verification tools. The behavioural model can then be replaced with the full design and revalidated to ensure that the design that will be made into a chip, board or vehicle corresponds to the original intention. That allows the detailed development and testing to start long before the chips and boards are available. That is essential, as the complex devices for the driverless vehicles planned for the next few years will have billions of transistors and take 12 to 18 months to design, produce and test. At the same time, regulators will want to see millions of miles of testing – which can take years – so starting as early as possible is vital. The development and testing of unmanned systems is being boosted by recent advances in simulation technology, writes Nick Flaherty For all practical purposes Simulation tools can now model behaviour at the chip, system, vehicle and even the virtual city level (Courtesy of Siemens) June/July 2019 | Unmanned Systems Technology