T-45 Virtual/Augmented Reality Training Technology

Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BISim)
Orlando, FL

Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BISim), a global developer of advanced simulation and training software, has been selected by the U.S. Navy to provide air crew training technology that leverages emerging augmented and virtual reality technologies. Supporting the Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA) via PMA-205 and the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD), BISim will provide an augmented reality visual system that enables trainees to interact with a physical T-45 simulator cockpit while immersed in a high-fidelity virtual environment displayed in a head mounted display (HMD).

In addition, two T-45 virtual reality part-task trainers (VR-PTTs) will be developed with a goal of supplementing existing virtual and live training. Both solutions will feature image generation technology from BISim's VBS Blue IG.

The augmented reality visual system will immerse the pilot in a virtual environment where he/she can see and interact with a physical simulator cockpit. The advantage is that it provides a full 360-degree field of regard visual display using only a single image generation channel and a specialized head mounted display. If the research is successful, it should be possible to use the proposed augmented reality visual solution with any existing simulator, saving at least an order of magnitude in cost over traditional image generation and project-based solutions.

Building on previous developments for the F/A-18, BISim will create a second-generation VR-PTT with enhanced resolution and an improved user interface. The VR-PTT will replicate the crewstation, avionics, and flight dynamics of the T-45 aircraft using VR technology to provide training at the point of need. Selected bio-sensing technology will create an intuitive user interface that tracks a user's gestures in the real world and displays the results in the virtual environment. The interface enables the pilot to select and interact with virtual buttons, dials and switches as would be done in the real aircraft.

The VR-PTTs will feature an aircraft dynamics and avionics simulation solution from SASimulation's FLEX-air. The solution is intended to support basic flight and cockpit familiarization, carrier operations, and Basic Fighting Maneuvers (BFM).

The T-45 Goshawk is an aircraft carrier-capable, two-seater aircraft used to train pilots to fly more advanced aircraft such as the F/A-18 Hornet. In service since 1988, the single-engine aircraft is a highly modified derivation of the British-built BAE Systems Hawk land-based jet aircraft trainer.

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