MetaVR Visuals in UAS Simulation
MetaVR™ is one of the largest suppliers of unmanned aerial system (UAS) commercial licensed 3D visualization software for the US military with well over 1,000 active VRSG licenses in the field. Much of this installed base is through the Multiple Unified Simulation Environment / Air Force Synthetic Environment for Reconnaissance and Surveillance (MUSE/AFSERS) simulation system, which is used at the UAV training center at Fort Huachuca and other training sites. VRSG drives the visuals for MUSE/AFSERS, which is the primary UAS training and simulation system used in the Department of Defense for command- and staff-level joint services training.
MetaVR visual systems are used in multiple UAS programs, including the embedded Shadow Crew Trainer Universal Ground Control Station (and older One System Ground Control Station) which is used for training Shadow TUAS, Hunter, Aerosonde, and Gray Eagle unmanned aerial systems. Insitu, Inc. uses over 30 MetaVR VRSG licenses for simulation training of two of its Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). Aurora Flight Sciences uses VRSG to simulate its Orion UAS and Chandler May uses VRSG to simulate ISR functions of its Fury 1500. At its Prescott, AZ, campus, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) has used VRSG in its UAS simulation and training lab since 2012. The Daytona Beach campus of ERAU recently purchased VRSG licenses for its UAS lab as well.
VRSG can be configured to simulate a UAS in a variety of ways. These configurations range from using VRSG's internal camera payload model in which the telemetry of the simulated UAV is provided by a DIS or HLA entity, to fully integrated applications such as the MUSE UAV tactical trainer.
UAS simulations based on MetaVR VRSG use MetaVR's Metadesic terrain database technology. Metadesic terrain is a true geocentric, round-earth representation that is free of error-prone projections used by most commercial image generators. Geocentric terrain is necessary to capture earth curvature and for accurate measurement of target positions. Metadesic terrain scales well to even global coverage datasets. With MetaVR's Metadesic geometry and compressed texture paging technologies, the terrain database extent is limited only by disk storage capacity.
Since 2001, MetaVR VRSG has been the primary supplier of visual systems for the Joint Technology Center/Systems Integration Laboratory (JTC/SIL) MUSE/AFSERS simulation system, which is the largest UAS simulation program in the United States. The program provides the largest number of fielded simulation systems for training command and staff level training for UAS, which is used to support worldwide warfighter exercises and demonstrations.
The MUSE/AFSERS simulation is a general intelligence collection platform simulation for airborne collection systems with electro-optical (EO), infrared (IR), and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) payloads. The MetaVR MUSE VRSG system provides the visualization system component for MUSE that generates synthetic payload scene video and/or imagery of the 3D battlefield with simulated target entities. This video and imagery is subsequently fed to a tactical or generic UAS/intelligence platform control station where operators perform air vehicle and payload control functions, and an air vehicle and datalink simulation.
A screenshot of GV3.0 output of decoded VRSG's MPEG stream and embedded UAV metadata.
VRSG UAS simulation features include:
In autumn 2010, VRSG provided the visuals through AFSERS in the live, virtual and constructive (LVC) Green Flag East 11-1 exercise held at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, LA. During the exercise of combined distributed models and simulations, JTACs received an encrypted LVC video broadcast to ROVERs of simulated UAV camera view streamed from VRSG.
VRSG provides realistic simulation capability for UAS training packaged in a ruggedized deployable container for the MUSE and AFSERS programs. The image below shows a ruggedized container-based system that is designed such that it can be palletized and airlifted to training exercises in the field on short notice and can survive the journey and the training scenario under harsh environmental conditions. MUSE unmanned training systems are deployed for overseas training exercises.