Aim of the Course:

Purpose of the course is presentation of modern technology - hardware and software in designing ballistic computer in ground base fire control system. The course will cover: Structure of fire control system (FCS) for field artillery. Basic components of a FCS and their interactions. Requirements for the characteristics for ballistic computer. Specification for the software design. Ballistic module. Communication of the main computer with the weapon subsystems, observation post and commander post. Target acquisition. Tracking of flying targets and data processing. Weapon self-positioning, navigation and angular orientation. Integrated INS/GPS/VMS systems.

Who should attend?

The course is intended, engineers - researchers in the research institutions and engineers in the productions factories. It is an advanced course in external ballistics).


Duration is two weeks (twelve working days); 50 lectures (one lecture duration 45min), but other arrangement is possible.

Course Outline

1. Structure of Fire Control System (FCS)
Organization of the fire control system for field artillery (guns and multi launch rocket systems). Basic subsystems and their functional relations. Ballistic computer. Launcher control computer, Fire control unit. Observation post and observation post computer. Meteo station. Communication system, equipment and lines.
2. Basis of Ballistics
Introduction of external ballistics. Coordinate system for trajectory calculation. Elements of ballistic trajectory and types of trajectories. Parameters influencing projectile flight. Earth gravity. Atmosphere and its characteristics. Set of equations defining flight of projectile. Point Mass Model, Modified Point Mass Model, Six Degree of Freedom Model. Solving of flight equations and determination of the characteristic points.
3. Determination of Objects on Earth and Coordinate Transformation
Characteristics of the earth ellipsoid and geoid. WGS-84 datum. Global earth fixed coordinate system. Geographic coordinate system. UTM coordinates. Local ellipsoids, local anomalies and gravity. True, Grid and magnetic azimuth. Calculation of distance and azimuth between two points on sphere and ellipsoid. Local coordinate systems. Spherical, Cylindrical and rectangular coordinate system. Transformation of the coordinates between coordinate system. Examples of calculation of coordinates by using the computer program.
4. Weapon self-positioning and Orientation
Determination of weapon on map. Map reading. Self-positioning and azimuth determination by GPS receivers. Basis of INS technology. Usage of INS for true north determination. Measurement of travelled path by vehicle motion system (odometer). Measurement of barrel azimuth and elevation by INS system. Measurement of directional angle and elevation angle by encoders. Measurement of weapon inclination angles by inclinometers. Correction of firing data due to platform inclination angles. Communication of the quoted subsystems with main (ballistic computer).
5. Fire problem
Basic of gunnery. Laying the guns and launchers. Types of targets. Targeting. Range (Firing) tables. The role of observers. Ammunition and atmospheric data collection and processing. Firing elements calculation. Crest clearance. Protected areas. Mission and tasks. Ranging. Fire correction.
6. Requirements for the characteristics of ballistic computer
Computational requirements. Requirements for the communications with other subsystems. Processor and RAM characteristics. Storage (hard disk) characteristics. Display characteristics. Keyboard characteristics. Power supply. Interfaces. Operating temperature range. Mechanical characteristics. Operating system. Dedicated computer vs. “computer on shell”.
7. General specification for the software design
Choice of the software for developing application. General specification for the graphical user interface. Calculation accuracy. Storing the data - data bases. Execution time. Methods of supplying input data. Coding policy. Software integrity. Workflow guidelines. Windowing guidelines. Common button action guidelines. Variable names conventions and measurement unit conventions. Input data range checking and messaging. Reporting. Help guidelines. Revision history.
8. Software organization
Main menu. Tasks window. Object window. Ammunition window. Atmosphere window. Map window. Vehicle orientation window. Firing elements window. Fire correction window. Weapon control window. Navigation window. Moving on map window. Trajectory element window. Basic trajectory data window. Help menu. Data base organization. Communication window. Report menu. Help menu. Vehicle (cradle) level determination window.
9. Digital maps
Requirements for digital maps. Presentation of objects on maps. Type of maps: raster and vector maps. Map calibration. Software for map handling. Moving on map and mission realization. Example of map calibration and moving on map.
10. Software and hardware testing
Functionality testing. Calculating accuracy testing. Input data range testing. Communication with hardware testing. Low and high temperature testing. Electromagnetic compatibility testing. Testing on vibration influence. Documentation checking. Updating the software.

Lecturer: Dr Miodrag Curcin