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Reconfigurable Virtual Cockpit Trainers

Reconfigurable Virtual Cockpit Trainers

Reconfigurable Virtual Cockpit Trainers

The RVCT Apache cockpit trainer showing MetaVR VRSG's sensor view on left. (Photo courtesy of ZedaSoft.)

MetaVR VRSG is being used in the prototype Reconfigurable Virtual Cockpit Trainers (RVCT) being delivered to the U.S. Army by Bugeye Technologies. The trainers are being delivered as part of the Army’s Synthetic Training Environment (STE) program, with technologies from a number of companies integrated into a mixed reality simulation training tool. The simulators include multiple versions of mixed-reality rotorcraft reconfigurable cockpit systems as well as six virtual reality door gunner trainers.

Twenty-five VRSG licenses were purchased for the RVCTs. Integrated by ZedaSoft in their CBA simulation software framework, VRSG fulfills the IG requirements for immersive virtual reality, augmented reality, sensor, and conventional out-the-window (OT) capabilities for both the side door gunnery trainer and the Apache sensor simulation. 

The MetaVR VRSG-based simulators include multiple versions of mixed-reality rotorcraft reconfigurable cockpit systems as well as six virtual reality door gunner trainers. The side door gunnery trainer takes advantage of VRSG’s built-in support for the HTC VIVE Pro Head Mounted Display (HMD), providing high-resolution stereo rendering at 90 frames per second. VRSG also supports the SA Photonics SA-92S augmented reality HMD, and can render a cockpit mask model, which allows the trainee to see through the HMD into a physical cockpit model. Pixels not affected by the cockpit mask model are filled in with imagery from the virtual scene. 

Still image from ZedaSoft's video of the RVCT STE system; VRSG supplies the scene in the HMD and in the large out-the-window display.

MetaVR provided ZedaSoft with the VRSG H.264 video plugin capable of decoding streaming from a sensor channel, which is then rendered onto the video as an overlay to the OTW video in the HMD. This configuration is used to satisfy the sensor video requirements used by the actual Apache Integrated Helmet and Display Sight System (IHADSS) HMD. The sensor video displayed in the HMD can be provided by any H.264 stream on the network, such as an image generator channel simulating a sensor attached to the airframe of a remote aircraft or UAS sensor.

The program also includes technology supplied by Bihrle Applied Research (Apache aircraft flight dynamics and systems model), RT-Dynamics (Blackhawk aircraft flight dynamics and systems model), PLEXSYS Interface Products (PLEXComm simulated radio and intercom software), SA Photonics (SA-92S HMD), and Acme Worldwide Enterprises (M240D Gun System Simulator).


See the system in ZedaSoft's Mixed Reality Demonstration video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQRuu2g1pLw

VRSG is also used in the door gunner trainer delivered by Bugeye Technologies for the same program.