U.S. Navy looks to leverage augmented, virtual reality training tech for the T-45 aircraft

STUTTGART, Germany. U.S. Navy officials selected Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BISim) to deliver air crew training technology that leverages emerging augmented and virtual reality technologies.

Under contract, BISim will support the Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA) via PMA-205 and the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD) by providing an augmented reality 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 virtual reality 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 Blue IG.

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. The system leverages 360-degree field of regard visual display using a single image generation channel and a head mounted display. If the research is successful, it should be possible to use the proposed augmented reality visual solution with any existing simulator.

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 Maneuvers (BFM).