FwESI® is still in development. All images are not final and the look might change in a released version.
Some features mentioned below might not be available in development builds.
The release is planned for Interschutz in June 2020.
Our fire fighting training simulation called FwESI® represents a new opportunity to perform tactical and harmless trainings for firefighters in germany. You can simulate a variety of self-made or predefined operational scenarios on PC or in VR in real-time. The application can be used by self-study or in a multi-user network. Currently our focus is on squad and group training level. Higher leading levels will be implemented in the future.
FwESI® is no game and not intended for pure entertainment. It is a tool for instructors to visualize and simulate operational scenarios in the domain of fire fighting, technical assistance and civil protection.
Editor and Operator Tools
FwESI® provides you with an Editor (made with Unreal Slate UI Framework) to create your own operating scenarios or to control your training exercises in real-time during your workshop. You can easily place content like equipment, cars, emergency personnel or civilian people by dragging from a library and drop them into place. To arrange your scenario the editor provides handy transformation tools similar to Unreal Editor and a property panel to set up all your elements. We currently are working on a network lobby to support multi-user. With this lobby workshop, participants can choose a role within the training scenario.
Slip into a role on PC
After choosing a role you will slip into an ego perspective of your character as soon as the operator starts the training. With your alter ego you can interact inside the virtual world using a keyboard and mouse or a gamepad. Buildings we are using have to match German building and fire prevention regulations. Crashed vehicles have to look like real cars after a heavy accident where people are jammed inside. Plus, they have to provide information about airbags, control devices, battery, gas generators, etc. to enable a tactical analysis.
Slip into a role in VR
Besides the classical PC mode, you can experience the scenario in VR. By default, you can interact with the same items as you can do on PC. The feedback from experts describes an increasing learning success because of the immersion of VR. Our partner FAB Rheinland is heavily using VR in workshops for breathing protection as well as search and rescue tactics for missing persons. Because teleporting long distances was perceived very unrealistic we are now using a step-by-step movement which avoids motion sickness almost completely.
Indoor tactical approach
While communication still takes place in reality with radio devices, in game you can use your default firefighting equipment like thermal imaging camera or lifeline which provides you with the means to escape via your entry route or for rescuers to follow your path. You also can place door markings in tactical search and rescue operations when you have to look for missing persons in buildings filled with smoke.
Fire alarms systems
We currently are working on a fully functional and usable fire alarm system implemented in hospitals or industrial buildings. Evacuation plans and ground plans for fire brigade use are automatically generated based on modular building sets. Visualization and functionality are strictly implemented by reference to German industry standards DIN 14675 and DIN VDE 0833-1 and -2. Exercises with fire alarm systems start with a simple training board where users can familiarize themselves with basic components. Later exercises will contain more complex buildings like hospitals with subterranean garage and fire sprinkler or carbon dioxide fire extinguishing system.
Standard vehicles with standard gear
Firefighting vehicles have to match German standards for emergency vehicles which have to be equipped with standard gear. Firefighting cars we will provide you in FwESI® are based on German industry standards DIN 14500 to 14599 and DIN 14700 to 14709 for drivable firefighting ladders (turntable ladder with basket). Interactions with all items of tactical relevance are already in works. All cars will be drivable and build in pumps will be usable.
Pumps and water supply
To build water supply you can either use portable or build in fire pumps. FwESI® supports water intake from hydrants (above und below floor surface), open water like rivers or sees, cistern and vehicle. The physically simulated water supply considers pressure, flow rate and geodesic suction height. We are also trying to replicate water supply over very long distances using water transport vehicles and reservoirs.
We are quite busy with modeling all the firefighting equipment which shall be usable in FwESI®. To build generic items we are comparing real items from different manufacturers to get a spectrum of realisitc characteristics. For example fog noozles may have differnet spray patterns, mechanical fans may have different blow-off behavior and thermal vision cameras will provide different thermography color palettes. Besides the water supply you will be able use generators to build up floodlighting on dark incident scenes.
Table top exercises
Because table top exercises have a long tradition in tactical firefighting training we decided to rebuild FwESI® scenarios on virtual table tops. In a first version not all buildings are walkable but are supporting special points of interest where you can have exercises inside. Those special buildings will be equipped e.g. with fire alarm systems, sprinkler installation or carbon dioxide fire extinguishing system. We also are working on day and night changes as well as different weather conditions like rain and seasons because one of these conditions can change your tactical approach significantly. Optionally you will be able to populate your scenario with simple AI controlled vehicles and pedestrians which will react to the incident scene and emergency vehicles to build a rescue lane for example. Besides the 3D visualization FwESI® will support a 2D tactical view which can be used on tablets and shared over network.
GPU based CFD fire and smoke using CUDA
Simulating fire and smoke is one of the essential elements for virtual fire fighting training. While in tactical scenarios traditional particle systems are acceptable in most cases. But in scenarios where users have to interact with fire or smoke, because of ventilation or extinguishing, they absolutely are not acceptable. To interact with fire and smoke using fog nozzles and mechanical fans we are developing a CUDA based fire simulation which is running on GPU. Our goal is to repruduce fire phenomena like rollover and flashover based on fuel / oxygen reactions. Because this type of simulation is much more complex it needs more hardware resources. We are planning to support multiple GPU units to relieve the videocard which is responsible for rendering.