South African Military Simulations on the NetBeans Platform
Master Event List Tool (MELT) is a one-way communication system developed by Saab Systems SA for the South African National Defence Force's Centre for Conflict Simulation (ConSim), where it is used during simulation exercises.
During mission readiness training, MELT provides incidents and injections complementing the simulations. The client computer receives a message instructing what, when, and how to report the detail of a specific incident or injection.
Below is the main user window:
The window with the table consists of four tabs, three containing JTables with the events based on certain conditions. They use the same table model and renderer with a filter on the query in the model.
The properties window displays the details of the currently selected event. The event can be selected in the table row or on the timeline at the bottom in the output window. Selecting on the table will also select in the timeline and vice versa. The properties window consists of five tabs: General properties, Recipients (many to many relationships), Unit Results, Notes, and Document.
Color coding in the table represents the result of how the exercise staff evaluated the recipient action on the event. Colors are user definable as shown below, with a results legend. Documents are displayed to clients using a built in web module on the platform.
The toolbar provides the buttons to start the exercise, pause, etc. Events are fired at the designated time. A simulated (or game) time is used and not real time, although the game time and real time could be the same. The timeline shows a graphical representation of the exercise. The user can interact with the event from the timeline as well. Events can be rescheduled, made longer, postponed, suspended, etc, by clicking or dragging and dropping in the timebar.
In the following window, the results legend is displayed:
The legend is user defined, as is the case in the next screen shot. In the lower part, the output window, the clients are shown. Clients receive the messages via UDP. On the left are clients are available on the network. On the right are those that are unavailable. In the status bar exercise status conditions are displayed.
In the next screenshot, the options panel is shown, which can be set by the user, which of course immediately updates the main window. The status categories, colors, and recipients can be manipulated after authentication.
Exercises can be exported to Excel and imported again, which was a user requirement. The database used for this application is Derby. Toplink provides the persistence layer.
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