Virtual Visuals and Part Task Trainers
The US Chief of Naval Training (CNATRA) has selected Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BISim) to provide aircrew training solutions for the T-45 aircraft that leverage both virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR).
BISim will 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). In addition, two T-45 VR part-task trainers (VR-PTTs) will be developed with a goal of supplementing existing virtual and live training. Both solutions will feature image generation technology from BISim’s VBS BLUEimage generator.
The advantage of the AR visual system is that it provides a full 360° field of regard visual display using only a single image generation channel and a specialised HMD. It should be possible to use the proposed AR 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 experience in supporting the F/A-18 HORNET, BISim will create a second generation VR-PTT with enhanced resolution and an improved user interface. The VR-PTT will replicate the crewstation, 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 Manoeuvres (BFM).
“Virtual and augmented reality technology have the potential to fundamentally change how aircrew training is delivered. 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,” commented BISim’s Vice President of Business Development, John Burwell.