An IZLID is a compact, lightweight infrared laser pointing and marking device used by the military. It is designed to be used as a command pointer, for target marking and for communicating with aircraft.
Close Air Solutions (CAS) is a Bristol based company supplying simulation equipment and
training for defence and security personnel. Replica military equipment, specifically designed to interface with their simulation software, provides trainees with the most realistic and lifelike training environment.
CAS approached Cubik Innovation to develop their IZLID training simulators electronics and software. Amalgam was brought in to design, prototype and produce the physical casings and graphics for the units.
Client: Close Air Solutions (CAS)
- The brief was to replicate the look and feel of an IZLID in its aesthetics, ergonomics and user functions, minus the real world infrared beam. CAS sought a small batch run of units to develop for their simulator and to sell to other simulator owners.
- The IZLID connects to the Close Air Solutions simulator system via a single USB lead and sends back data regarding movement. Using the IZLID physically, the operator points the IZLID at the display during training scenarios and the beam is generated in sync with the position of the IZLID in the real world. This allows the operator to gain an understanding of how the IZLID behaves and reacts.
- The devices also had to be tough and durable enough to withstand hard knocks and general wear and tear by service personnel used to handling military grade hardware.
Cubik were responsible for the electronic design and embedded software, while Amalgam focused on the enclosure design, which had to replicate the real thing – while accommodating completely different internal components.
As an added challenge, Amalgam only had a limited selection of low resolution photographs available on which to base their design work. Once the design had been approved on-screen, the prototype housing was initially produced as a high definition 3D print, allowing CAS to check the appearance and feel of the unit, whilst Cubik ensured their PCBs would sit as intended within the casings. Amalgam used their in-house resin vacuum casting process to produce a series of casings to become the IZLID simulators.
The close working relationship between Cubik and Amalgam was based upon excellent communication at every stage of development. This ensured that CAS received a product perfectly suited to their specific needs, and which closely replicated the real-world product.