20 Aug 2019

US Air Force trains with VR training software

The US Air Force has added VR training software to T-1A Jayhawk twin-engine aircraft.

MetaVR technology has been added to US Air Force craft to provide VR training Electro-Optical/Infra-Red (EO/IR) capability. The U.S. Air Force’s Combat Systems Officer training station at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, FL, has purchased 49 MetaVR VRSG licenses which will be installed on 21 T-1A Jayhawk training aircraft at the base.

VRSG forms part of the T-1A Combat System Officers Training System (CSOTS) embedded training device for the aircraft, which is used to train students in the operation of EO/IR sensors. VRSG generates the visuals for the system, resulting in a mixed reality training experience for trainees that combines simulated and live environments.

President of MetaVR Garth Smith said: “The training environment is truly mixed reality – students looking out the aircraft window see real-world locations that correlate with the simulated sensor views of MetaVR’s geospecific 3D terrain rendered in VRSG software.”

“The major benefit here is that the students obtain maximum training value by flying a real platform and benefitting from having a sensor view that correlates to their actual geographic location.”

“VRSG is used to teach students various techniques and theories related to the use of the EO/IR sensor equipment in a simulated environment, with targets inserted into the simulated view – something that would be cost prohibitive to recreate in the real world”

The sensor simulation approach helps reduce overall training costs to the US Air Force by providing an alternative to more expensive actual EO/IR sensors. Two VRSG licenses are installed on each of the 21 aircraft and one VRSG display is located in front with co-pilot, the other is situated behind where the student sits.

All US Air Force CSO Training is consolidated at NAS Pensacola under the 479th Flying Training Group Air Education and Training Command unit. The T-1A CSOTS is the first course of a 1.5 year-long CSO training course. After the T-1A course, students go on to EW classroom training on the T25 Simulator for Electronic Combat Training, a classified system which also uses VRSG; followed by training on the T-6A Texan II trainer aircraft.

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