Selected Industrial View with W. Garth Smith, CEO and co-founder of MetaVR, Inc.
On the occasion of I/ITSEC 2017, MILITARY TECHNOLOGY publishes its Annual Simulation and Training Bosses (SATB) Series that conveys the thoughts and messages of the world’s defence simulation and training leaders, according to the question: “How do you apply/integrate live, virtual, and constructive (LVC) technologies to your tactical training, and can LVC training address the military’s readiness crisis??”
While MetaVR doesn’t make LVC systems (we aren’t system integrators), we provide the underlying technology to integrators for training systems used in LVC systems. We provide the image generator (Virtual Reality Scene Generator, “VRSG”) and high-resolution content: the round-earth geospecific 3D terrain and culture and dynamic entity models. Virtual training is valuable if the 3D virtual environment closely matches the live-training environment. VRSG provides out-the-window, sensor, and radar simulation components all based on the same terrain. This ensures the fidelity of matching views required for air to ground training missions such as joint fires, close air support, and UAS simulation.
For example, imagine training at a range on the Fallon Range Training Complex at Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada. The targets are pretty well-known; pilots become familiar with them during close air support training missions. We have the infrastructure for LVC training on this range: 2cm per-pixel resolution terrain that we built from imagery collected by our SUAS, thermally accurate military models, etc. VRSG generates artificial sensor feed, so pilots can identify a target and engage. A pilot steers the aircraft toward a real location on the range but the aircraft’s sensor view is replaced by VRSG’s simulated sensor view of the range. (Because VRSG’s real-time physics-based imagery classification simulates the sensor view, the sensor view of 2cm resolution terrain is very accurate; details such as helicopter landing pads and small craters left from exploded ordnance are visible.) Using a high-quality SAF, the pilots could encounter a modern Russian EW platform with an air-defence system that they have never seen before and at a location on the range where there are no real-life targets. Even the EW response on the aircraft can be stimulated with the SAF. Our business partner Battlespace Simulations’ (BSI’s) Modern Air Combat Environment (MACE) generates artificial intelligence entities, thus making the target behaviours and EW signals that show up on VRSG’s simulated terrain. The instructor, using MACE, can put targets on these on unfamiliar locations that do not really exist in the physical world. The value for this kind of training could be significant.
I/ITSEC is showcasing the future of innovation across defences and www.monch.com/mpg/news/iitsec17.html brings together key developments from the show. For more information and a print version of the SATB series, please see MILITARY TECHNOLOGY #12/2017, available on booth #257; and frequently check back for more NEWS FROM THE FLOOR.