Aviation Collective Training at U.S. Army Combat Training Centers, Unit Home Stations and Deployed Locations
Apache Tactical Engagement Simulation System (TESS)
A Program of Record Since 1998
Apache TESS is used to safely train personnel in the tactical operations of the AH-64D/E Apache Attack Helicopter. Live fire training includes cooperative force engagements, evasive procedures, and the use of Aircraft Survivability Equipment (ASE). Player and Event data is transmitted in real-time for display and tracking on the Modular Mobile Command and Control (MMCC) to provide situational awareness, player-to-player communications, decentralized engagement adjudication, Real-Time Casualty Assessment (RTCA), and After Action Review (AAR).
Apache TESS includes an A-Kit and a B-Kit. The A-kit includes the Training Laser Designator (TLD), the tray assembly for the Advanced Smart Onboard Data Interface Module (ASMODIM) and modified software in the weapons display and systems processors with cable connection provisions. The B-kit includes the ASMODIM, TESS Gun Control Unit (TGCU), TESS Training Missile (TTM), and GPS and Telemetry antennas.
TESS enables pilots to safely perform force-on-force training without firing a round. Weapon systems acquire and engage TESS instrumented targets. TESS uses MILES Laser and Geometric Pairing to adjudicate all weapon engagements. SAL Missile and 30mm Gun engagements are simulated with MILES eye-safe lasers. RF Missile and Rocket engagements are simulated with Geometric Pairing. Pilots receive visual and audio cues in real-time.
Training Laser Designator
The Training Laser Designator (TLD) is permanently embedded within the Modernized Day Sensor Assembly (M-DSA) for the M-TADS/PNVS. The TLD simulates weapon designation performed by tactical hardware. The TLD is a self-contained subsystem consisting of a collimated Class 3R (ANSI) 904 nanometer (nm) eye-safe Laser energy transmitter capable of transmitting MILES coded messages to simulate designation during training exercises. It includes the optics required to direct the laser beams and the associated electronics to drive the TLD. MILES output is enabled when firing simulated Hellfire Missiles or Rockets when Apache TESS is installed and engaged on the aircraft. Parameters for direct fire routine are in accordance with PMT 90-S002A. MILES Player IDs range up to 1320 unique Players and 4 Ammo codes.
The Advanced Smart Onboard Data Interface Module (ASMODIM) is a player unit that interfaces with air and ground vehicles to provide live fire and simulated weapons training and is fully compatible with MILES and laser-based direct fire weapons. It computes Geometric Pairing solutions and processes Simulated Area Weapon Effects (SAWE) data for all weapons. Aircraft and targeted vehicles are Geometrically Paired by their GPS positions for RTCA. The ASMODIM selects a target from its player position database in the appropriate weapons impact footprint, and computes Probability of Hit (Ph) algorithms specific to each weapon type and player type. It then informs the target via the data link that it is selected for assessment and passes RTCA feedback directly to the aircraft weapons processor and ground station through the onboard telemetry radio. Collected Data includes:
- Aircraft position/location
- Weapon events
- Aircraft status
- Aircraft heading
- Aircraft velocity
- Sensor heading
- Sight azimuth
- Aircraft Survivability Equipment (ASE) status
- Real Time Casualty Assessment (RTCA) status
TESS Gun Control Unit
The TESS Gun Control Unit (TGCU) includes a 904nm eye-safe Laser that transmits MILES Communications Weapon Codes for the 30mm Gun to simulate weapon engagements with TESS instrumented targets. It is mounted within the 30mm Gun Turret and receives commands from the aircraft to control the TGCU and TLD. 30mm gunfire is visually indicated to the target in single or multiple burst rates by the Flash Weapon Effects Signature Simulator (FlashWESS) when the aircraft weapons trigger is pulled. Pilots receive audio cues over the aircraft intercom.
TESS Training Missile
The TESS Training Missile (TTM) mounts onto a pylon launcher and interfaces with the aircraft weapons processor to enable training mode and weapons emulation. The TTM replaces and emulates the Hellfire missile in size, shape and weight. A Flash Weapon Effects Signature Simulator (FlashWESS) provides visual signals of weapon firing events, and the Aircraft Kill Indicator (AKI) provides visual indication of RTCA status of the aircraft platform.
Training ASE Stimulation Suite (TASS)
TASS stimulates the Aircraft Survivability Equipment (ASE) when within threat detection and engagement ranges, requiring pilots to take appropriate actions for peer or near-peer threat avoidance. The stimulated ASE triggers the correct audio/visual cues to the aircrew, and inventories and decrements Chaff and Flare countermeasures. TASS replicates enemy Integrated Air Defense Systems (IADS) threats by providing interrogation, tracking and targeting of aircraft participating in combined arms Force-on-Force (FoF) training at the Combat Training Centers (CTCs). Incoming aircraft are detected by Opposing Force (OPFOR) acquisition systems. Acquisition data is sent to Command and Control (C2) for firing solution and launcher assignment. Firing data is sent to individual launching platforms (MAST, ASET IV, RSE). Launching platforms engage aircraft by stimulating the ASE B-Kit Emulator (ABE). Apache TESS adjudicates the attack and relays status and performance parameters of the threat for display on the unclassified CTC-IS. At end-game, TASS presents the user with computed miss-distance and probability of kill results to quantify the outcome of the engagement.
TASS with Training MANPADS
Currently in development, the Training Man-Portable Air Defense System (T-MANPADS) will provide the ability for cooperative engagements between air and ground assets, while increasing the complexity and fidelity of Opposing Force (OPFOR) air defenses to challenge aviation training units. The T-MANPADS provides the stimulus for the ASE B Kit Emulator (ABE) running on the aircraft instrumentation, as well as a visual target for simulated weapon engagements. It is designed to replicate real world shoulder-launched air defense threats against all aviation platforms. Each participant can be engaged with MILES for additional weapon engagements. The T-MANPADS will provide the Rotational Training Unit a realistic short-range threat that challenges the US Army Aviation Aircrews, and enables the training of tasks associated with penetrating, dis-integrating, and exploiting the Anti-Access and Area Denial Air Defense Systems at the CTCs and Home Stations.
UH-60 & CH-47 AVIATION TESS
Universal Components for a Variety of Platforms
Aviation TESS (AV-TESS) instruments the UH-60 Blackhawk and CH-47 Chinook helicopters for collective training at U.S. Army Combat Training Centers (CTCs) and Home Stations. MILES Laser engagement capability is added by integrating the SMODIM, Aircraft Kill Indicator (AKI), and GPS and Telemetry Antennas. The AKI is a hermetically sealed, high-intensity strobe light that transmits standard “Hit”, “Kill” or “Near Miss” flash sequence indications when the Laser Sensors detect MILES Laser energy.
AV-TESS is designed to interface with the CTC’s Core Instrumentation System (CIS) through the existing Army Aviation Data Management System (AADMS) network. The SMODIM processes signals received from the Laser Sensors/Detectors to calculate Real-Time Casualty Assessment (RTCA). Based on the outcome, the SMODIM controls AKI signaling, injects audio messages through the aircraft Intercom System (ICS), and transmits event data through the telemetry network.
The Aviation MILES Detector Plate (AMDP) provides detection of 904nm MILES Laser engagements. Four assemblies per platform are installed to detect, identify and characterize MILES engagements. The MILES Sensors have a viewing window of 120°, 60° off the center line spherically. They are designed with a Built-In Test (BIT) capability and report BIT status to the SMODIM. AMDPs are installed and connected to the aircraft Laser Warning System when the aircraft does not have the AN/AVR-2 Laser Warning System installed. The Plate is installed in the same location as the AN/AVR-2.
Fielded to NTC, JRTC and JMRC Combat Training Centers
O/C and OPFOR
LUH-TESS provides dual capabilities for the UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) to perform as an Observer/Controller (O/C) and Opposing Force (OPFOR). An Offensive Weapons Capability is added to provide target acquisition and simulated weapons for the OPFOR threat aircraft. Weapons are simulated with a MILES coded Laser. New platform integrated components include the Articulating Sensor Package (ASP) with embedded FlashWESS Laser Transmitter (FLT), Weapons Processor, Hand Controller and two Color Cockpit Displays.
Articulating Sensor Package and Flashwess Laser Transmitter
The Articulating Sensor Package (ASP) interfaces to the existing LUH-TESS components and is mounted on the forward fuselage. The ASP provides day/night video and communicates with the Weapons Processor for target acquisition and engagements.
The FlashWESS Laser Transmitter (FLT) employs a 904nm MILES coded Laser that provides weapons simulation for missiles, rockets and 30mm cannon. The FLT is manufactured by ICE and embedded inside the MX-10 Surveillance Turret manufactured by L-3 WESCAM and includes an HD Electro-Optical (EO) Infrared (IR) surveillance camera and HD TV. The combined assembly is called the Articulating Sensor Package (ASP).
The Weapons Processor is the interface between the ASP and the LUH-TESS SMODIM. The Weapons Processor controls weapon events and interfaces with audio/video functions, ASP, and SMODIM. The Weapons Processor is packaged in a MIL-STD qualified enclosure and installed in the avionics bay.
The Hand Controller articulates the ASP and controls the zoom and focus of the internal camera.
A weapons trigger provides an offensive capability and indicates when the Laser is armed and active. Two Color Cockpit Displays provide situational awareness, targeting, weapon selection, rounds count, range and trigger pull.