Mankind’s ability to evolve and drive civilization forward throughout history has been inextricably tied to our ability to move goods and information through space and time. The processing power found in today’s smartphone greatly surpasses that of a 1980’s era supercomputer. However, for most of the twentieth century, aerospace and defense software tools remained the province of large mainframe computers. High costs, complex designs, and lack of reuse were just a few of the issues. This began to change as computing capacity increased in standalone workstations and personal computers and scientists and engineers gained access to more tools on their desktops than they ever had before. Enter AGI … and STK … The STK vision is to evolve how the A&D community performed critical missions of moving goods and information through time and space by simplifying the large, daunting problems by providing solutions. Think of STK as Lego blocks that anyone can use to build a space station of infinite configurations. STK provides a powerful collection of tools that may be reused, re-purposed or reconfigured for multiple mission types. No longer is it a concern that important corporate knowledge may be lost leaving behind unsustainable tools, ultimately forcing unnecessary reinvention. Conversely, STK provides a platform whose requirements are driven by an entire community to the benefit of every member. The release of STK 11, and now 11.1 mark new milestones in STK’s evolution, as the primary features all take advantage of the increased availability of compute power, whether locally or remotely deployed. Key features include:
- 64-bit compatibility on both Windows and Unix/Linux platforms.
- Volumetric analysis to apply constraints and execute calculations against a three dimensional grid. With 11.1, volumetric calculations leverage the Parallel Computing Extension to remotely distribute the load across multiple cores or a remote cluster.
- Deck Access to calculate visibility intervals from a single object in STK to a collection of objects defined in an external file. Deck Access calculations also take advantage of the Parallel Computing Extension.
- Communications and Radar modules now model and simulate performance of phased array antennas configured with up to 5,000 individual elements.
- AGI-provided streaming imagery and high resolution terrain for improved visual and computational accuracy.
- EOIR leverages the new 64-bit support to increase both the fidelity and flexibility of sensor configurations. Some improvements include the addition of a MODTRAN based atmosphere model and the ability to use custom 3-D models as target objects.
- STK Engine applications not requiring any visualization can take advantage of a new NoGraphics option in order to speed load and processing times as well as minimize memory requirements. The benefits become even more evident when scaling across a cluster of compute nodes.
- Aviator (formerly AMM) now includes navigation algorithms that allow the simulation of even more complex aircraft routes. Users are able to perform near real-time rules based flight path evaluations using built-in guidance strategies.
While platforms and form factors for software delivery continue to evolve, AGI is committed to leading the way in meeting the requirements of our diverse user base. AGI intends to continue developing STK with an emphasis on improving the users’ ability to consume and manipulate increasingly large data sets, as well as maximize computational efficiency. In order to ensure we are able to react quickly to the pace of innovation and evolving industry needs, starting in 2017, we will have regularly scheduled releases of STK in the spring and fall of each year. To ensure you’re notified of future releases please ensure that your agi.com profile is current. You can download the latest STK version from agi.com/stk11