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DSET 2020: Bring Your Own Mortar from D3A Defence

MetaVR, BSI and Minerva Offer Networked VR End-to-End Mortar Training

An industry team led by D3A Defence will demonstrate a ‘bring your own mortar’ end-to-end virtual training system concept for mortar operations at DSET on 10-11 March, 2020. The solution will demonstrate the power of distributed roleplay in mixed-reality virtual training environments, with computer-based training solutions that are easy to use and quick to deploy.

The concept demonstrator will consist of three networked training stations, one for Mortar Fire Controllers (MFC) and/or Forward Observers (FO), one for mortar/artillery Command Post (CP) operators and one for mortar crew, integrated to enable training for mortar operations within a joint training environment.

The mixed-reality MFC station operator will be equipped with in-service hardware representative binoculars and Laser Range Finders (LRFs) and a head-mounted display with visuals provided by MetaVR’s Virtual Reality Scene Generator™ (VRSG™). The trainee will be immersed in a 360 degree, mixed-reality virtual world that allows them to interact with the virtual world through VRSG while handling and operating hardware equipment in the real world. The MFC will send fire missions to the CP and mortar crew via emulated radios.

The CP station will represent the mortar or gun line CP enabling the management of fire orders, facilitated by a laptop running Battlespace Simulation Inc’s (BSI’s) Modern Air Combat Environment (MACE) integrated with VRSG. Together, they will provide real-time ballistic information and replicate effects of fired ordnance accurately within the virtual environment.

The mortar crew station will feature a physically representative mortar fitted with specialist equipment provided by Minerva Simulation & Training. The mortar will be integrated into the virtual environment so that firings are replicated in the virtual environment with accurate falls of shot.

The demonstration scenario will take place in a common virtual world shared by all three operators rendered by VRSG. The high-resolution geospecific 3D terrain built in MetaVR Terrain Tools for Esri ArcGIS is rendered in MetaVR’s Metadesic format, to enable trainees to conduct challenging exercises within a dense Middle Eastern urban area. Designed to enable flexible, quick-deploy training capabilities for mortar operations, the solution can be packed and transported in a single two-man portable ruggedized case, with all the equipment needed to set-up and run training scenarios within minutes. The live mortar system can be fulfilled with any 81mm mortar weapon of the customer’s choosing.

Scott Winter, Chief Technology Officer and Head of IRaD, D3A Defence, said: “One of the biggest challenges we currently see in the military training market is the ‘Chinese whisper’ effect that creates a significant disconnect between military requirements and industry interpretations of system requirements, which often results in personnel training on equipment that does not reflect real-world hardware or operational scenarios.

“Our approach here is to demonstrate that the use of mixed-reality virtual training environments can deliver simple training solutions using off-the-shelf products that are easy to use and do what they need to do to prepare personnel for the battlefield.”

Winter will be presenting on the system during Day 2 of the DSET conference, describing the system and its advantages.

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