STUTTGART, Germany. U.S. Navy officials seek to provide air crew training technology that leverages emerging augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) technologies. They selected Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BISim), a global developer of advanced simulation and training software in Stuttgart, Germany, to provide an AR visual system that enables trainees to interact with a physical T-45 simulator cockpit while immersed in a high-fidelity virtual environment displayed in a head-mounted display (HMD).
BISim will also develop two T-45 virtual-reality, part-task trainers (VR-PTTs) with a goal of supplementing existing virtual and live training. Both solutions will feature image generation technology from BISim’s VBS Blue IG.
“Virtual and augmented reality technology have the potential to fundamentally change how aircrew training is delivered,” says John Burwell, vice president of business development for BISim. “These solutions offer tremendous benefits to the U.S. Navy from cost avoidance to offering training at the point of need and ultimately increasing readiness for pilots.”
The augmented reality visual system will immerse the pilot in a virtual environment where he/she can see and interact with a physical simulator cockpit. It provides a full 360-degree field of regard visual display using only a single image generation channel and a specialized head-mounted display.
If the research is successful, it should be possible to use the proposed augmented-reality visual solution with any existing simulator, saving at least an order of magnitude in cost over traditional image generation and project-based solutions.
Building on previous developments for the F/A-18, BISim will create a second generation VR-PTT with enhanced resolution and an improved user interface. The VR-PTT will replicate the crew station, avionics, and flight dynamics of the T-45 aircraft using VR technology to provide training at the point of need. Selected bio-sensing technology will create an intuitive user interface that tracks a user’s gestures in the real world and displays the results in the virtual environment. The interface enables the pilot to select and interact with virtual buttons, dials, and switches as would be done in the real aircraft. The VR-PTTs will feature an aircraft dynamics and avionics simulation solution from SASimulation’s FLEX-air. The solution is intended to support basic flight and cockpit familiarization, carrier operations, and Basic Fighting Maneuvers (BFM).
The training solutions will support the Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA) via PMA-205 and the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD), with headquarters in Orlando, Florida.
Founded in 2001, Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BISim) is a global software company at the forefront of simulation training solutions for defense and civilian organizations. Our mission is to harness the explosive potential of technology to revolutionize training and simulation. BISim utilizes the latest game-based technology and a large, experienced in-house team of engineers to develop high-fidelity, cost-effective training and simulation software products and components for defense applications.