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MetaVR VRSG in Various Fidelity Options for JTAC Simulation Training

There are several ways you can simulate the functionality needed for Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) warfighter training in close air support (CAS) exercises, using MetaVR™ Virtual Reality Scene Generator™ (VRSG™). This page describes several such JTAC simulation solutions currently in use for training, ranging from immersive dome systems to desktop systems.

JTACs training in Close Air Solution's iCASS simulator with MetaVR's visuals and virtual terrain at Exercise Terminal Strike,2017.
JTACs training in Close Air Solution's iCASS partial dome simulator with MetaVR's visuals rendering Kismayo, Somalia, virtual terrain at Exercise Terminal Strike, July 2017. (Photo courtesy of Close Air Solutions.)

 Curved Display and Dome Systems

Advanced Joint Terminal Attack Controller Training System (AJTS)

Offering an immersive environment with a partial dome display is the Advanced Joint Terminal Attack Controller Training System (AJTS), a collaborative effort of QuantaDyn, Battlespace Simulations (BSI), Immersive Display Solutions (IDSI), MetaVR, and others. This accredited training system combines the ability to train in an immersive dome with analogous functionality for training at the desktop. U.S. Air National Guard sites and some Air Combat Command (ACC) sites use this system, developed further in collaboration with USAF Trainer Development Division, as the Air National Guard Advanced Joint Terminal Attack Controller Training System (AAJTS).

AAJTS installation with MetaVR visuals at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base in Oklahoma City.
Air National Guard AJTS installation with MetaVR visuals at the Will Rogers Air National Guard Base in Oklahoma City. (Photo courtesy of QuantaDyn.)

The system is comprised of, in part, commercial off-the-shelf components: Battlespace Simulations' (BSI’s) Modern Air Combat Environment (MACE) as the CGF/SAF with call-for-fire, 5-line and 9-line interfaces, at the instructor operator station and aircrew/role-player station), Immersive Display Solutions' (IDSI's) 5 meter 270 degree FOV dome with 14-channel LED+IR projection system, audio system, and warp/blend; MetaVR's VRSG, geospecific 3D terrain, and 3D models, and ASTi simulated radios for voice communication and sounds. The system also includes emulated military equipment.

AAJTS installation with MetaVR visuals at Hulman Field, Terre Haute International Airport, IN..
Pilot/role-player and instructor stations of the Indiana Air National Guard AAJTS installation with MetaVR visuals at Hulman Field, Terre Haute International Airport, IN. (Photo courtesy of Battlespace Simulations.)

The system is accredited for types 1, 2, 3 controls for both day and night, and for laser target designation with a simulated military laser device by the US Joint Fire Support Executive Steering Committee (JFS ESC) Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) and the NATO Standardization Agreement (STANAG); the system meets or exceeds current STANAG standards.

Immersive Close Air Support Simulator (iCASS)

Another immersive environment with a partial dome display is the Immersive Close Air Support Simulator (iCASS) training system of MetaVR's business partner Close Air Solutions.

Close Air Solutions' iCASS simulator.
Close Air Solutions' iCASS simulator at Joint Forward Air Controller Training and Standards Unit (JFACTSU), RAF Leeming, UK.

In use in the UK since 2015 at the FAC/JTAC Training Programme, at the Joint Forward Air Control Training and Standardisation Unit (JFACTSU), this system features a 240 x 120 degree FOV immersive dome display and uses MetaVR visuals: 12 VRSG channels for the projected views and simulated laser target designator and range finder devices, geospecific 3D terrain, and 3D model libraries. Like the AJTS described above, it also uses BSI's MACE computer generated force and semi-automated force application with call-for-fire, 5-line and 9-line interfaces; and includes simulated military devices, PRC 117 and 152 radio emulation, digitally-aided CAS (DACAS) control unit, and after-action review software. Setup includes an instructor operating station, and aircrew/role player station.

This JTAC simulator is accredited by NATO STANAG 3797 and US JFS ESC MOA for types 1, 2, 3 controls for both day and night, and for laser target designation with a simulated military laser device.

Combined Arms Virtual Environment

Like the systems described above, the U.S. Navy's new Combined Arms Virtual Environment (CAVE) features an immersive dome and role player and instructor operating station plus a supporting arms station in an adjoining classroom. The dome is a rigid shell 5 meter 240 degree FOV displays reused from legacy systems.

The CAVE system at EWTGPAC San Diego, with MetaVR visuals.
The CAVE system at EWTGPAC San Diego, with MetaVR visuals, terrain, and 3D content, and BSI MACE and other products. Featured in the curved display is VRSG rendering MetaVR's geospecific Kismayo, Somalia, terrain.

In addition to using MetaVR VRSG and BSI MACE, the CAVE system uses BSI's Viper DIS radio for an operationally realistic communications environment, DIScord for AAR and debrief, Open Street Map server, combat radio interface, and several BSI-designed emulated military equipment (EME) devices to include a portable lightweight designator/rangefinder (PLDR), Vector21 binocular laser rangefinder, and an IZLID infrared illuminator.

JTC TRS

The U.S. Air Force – Air Force Material Command's new Joint Terminal Control Training and Rehearsal System (JTC TRS), awarded in early 2016 and currently in low rate production, with an option for 30 systems, uses many of the technology components described above.


USAF site acceptance testing of the JTC TRS at Ft. Benning, GA, June 2016. (Photo courtesy of QuantaDyn.)

The JTC TRS solution under contract to QuantaDyn, is comprised of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components including VRSG, BSI's MACE, QuantaDyn's DIScover, and Immersive Display Solutions' immersive dome display system. As in the other systems, VRSG provides the out-the-window and sensor visuals for the dome display, the ROVER device, and emulated military equipment.

 BSI and MetaVR's Desktop JTAC Simulator

Offering a robust CAS desktop classroom training environment is the BSI/MetaVR JTAC desktop simulator, a collaborative effort of BSI, and MetaVR. This JTAC simulator, used at over 30 sites across the US, is comprised of BSI's MACE entity generator and MetaVR’s VRSG -- the same software pairing used in all the dome systems described above. This system is ideally suited for both standalone mission rehearsal and distributed mission simulation. Students can train on a virtual battlefield with close air support interfaces, such as 9-Line, 5-Line, and Call for Fire. Additional VRSG channels are available in the form of a monocular/binocular used for laser range finding and target designation with a simulated laser range finder/laser designator as well as a full motion video ROVER-type feed for external targeting information.

Classroom of JTAC desktop simulators with MetaVR visuals at the SOTACC facility at Yuma Proving Ground.
One of the two classrooms of JTAC desktop simulators with MetaVR visuals at the SOTACC facility at Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma, Arizona.

This desktop JTAC simulator has a variety of Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) tools, including DIS radios and a DIS recorder for recording and AAR/playback of missions. The instructor can control all constructive entities (including attacking aircraft and artillery), as well as ground entities and threats.

Classroom of JTAC desktop simulators with MetaVR visuals at the SOTACC facility at Yuma Proving Ground.
Role player station at the SOTACC facility at Yuma Proving Ground with VRSG pilot view in the center displaying MetaVR's 2 cm per-pixel resolution terrain of Prospect Square area of Yuma Proving Ground. The BSI MACE map is shown on the right.

The simulator has been granted accreditation by the Joint Fire Support Executive Steering Committee for JTAC training for types 1, 2, 3 for both day and night, and for laser target designation with simulated military laser, in accordance with the JTAC Memorandum of Agreement. Type 1 accreditation requires either a head-mounted display (HMD) or a 220+ degree FOV dome display.

 SiMPLE Desktop SETUPS

VRSG in FPS and JTAC mode

The most basic, simplest setup is a desktop simulation running VRSG as a first person shooter in JTAC mode with a Logitech gamepad, as shown:


A slightly more complex setup offering a higher fidelity training experience is the option described above, with one or more simulated devices, connected to the Iowa Air National Guard Distributed Training Operations Center (DTOC) for Distributed Mission Operations. An example of this setup is shown below. Devices could be a ROVER device, and a second computer running the FalconView PC-based mapping application that displays a map of the same area. (Also shown on the desk are ASTI VOIP handheld terminals that simulate radios.) The ROVER feed is from a second VRSG session which regenerates UAV payload information locally from the DTOC, and then streams the VRSG real-time MPEG feed to the ROVER. The DTOC provides real-time threats and UAV feeds.


VRSG in FPS and JTAC mode with simulated target designators

A further desktop simulation setup is the option described above, used with one or more simulated target designator devices. Shown in the image below is an example of generic virtual binoculars.


                               Desktop images of the Air National Guard Simulation Lab courtesy of
                               the U.S. Air National Guard. Images may have been edited for clarity.

The information on this web page is not an endorsement by the Air Combat Command or the Air National Guard of MetaVR products.

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