Virtual reality technology can ease design process for combat vehicles
PARIS. At this year’s Eurosatory, BAE System is showcasing its virtual reality (VR) technology that will speed up the design and development process for new vehicle parts, therefore facilitating the decision steps for tank commanders on the battlefield. Engineers are demonstrating this technology by using its Terrier Combat Engineer vehicle with a VR headset.
“Every time you want to upgrade a vehicle or even just design a simple new part, it’s very difficult to predict how it will work and whether it will affect the user experience. As soon as you need to make something and bolt it to the vehicle, it adds hours or even weeks to the process," says John Puddy, Technology Lead for BAE Systems Land in the U.K.
Buddy continues to say, “being able to ‘virtually’ bolt a new part to a vehicle means you can see exactly how it would fit. You can even sit in the vehicle like one of the crew and check it doesn’t affect your performance – our software will even superimpose your hands in real-time into the virtual world, so you ‘touch’ the vehicle.”
BAE System officials do not want to limit this technology to just engineering. They plan to employ it to provide more cost-effective training for soldiers and their vehicles. By virtually training soldiers to maintain and operate vehicles, officials say it will help reduce accidents and be more efficient. An example already in place is the British army's battle tank, the Challenger, which is using this technology and training methodology.
Using VR technology allows engineers to make more design iterations to refine new parts or upgrades, officials state. BAE Systems has also worked with soldiers to test changes in VR and uses their feedback to improve the design in real-time.
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