MetaVR Visual Systems in Upgraded F-16 Training Simulators at Luke AFB
Luke Air Force Base (KLUF) in Glendale, AZ, has used 53 MetaVR Virtual Reality Scene Generator™ (VRSG™) licenses for 8 years in their F-16 full-mission training simulators. MetaVR’s software is fielded on Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS)-based PC image-generators (PC-IG) using the latest game-level 3D graphics cards. These VRSG licenses replaced the Presagis Lyra-based solutions in the four training dome systems for the U.S. Air Force Air Education and Training Command (AETC) which had been previously installed at the site.
F-16 Network Training Center
Luke AFB is a major training base of the AETC for providing advanced flight training to fighter pilots. The upgraded F-16 flight cockpit simulators are located at the base’s Network Training Center (NTC) facility. MetaVR visuals are used in four dome-based systems; each contains a full cockpit replica of an actual F-16.
Luke AFB, which is located about 20 miles northwest of Phoenix, is the primary U.S. Air Force training facility for F-16 fighter pilots, who now regularly train to use night-vision goggles. With the installed systems, pilots use real Night Vision Goggles (NVGs) that are stimulated by Christie Digital Systems Matrix StIM projectors. The solid state LED projectors provide simultaneous and independent control over both the visible and near-IR spectrum using LED illumination.
Delivered systems and virtual terrain
For each F-16 cockpit trainer, the VRSG multichannel visual system includes 10 out-the-window (OTW) channels and 2 sensor channels. The systems also include new COTS PC hardware to replace Concurrent PCs.
As part of the sale, MetaVR built and delivered high-fidelity geospecific 3D terrain of Luke AFB, to include the airfield and the Barry M. Goldwater Range (BMGR). The terrain is in MetaVR's round-earth Metadesic format from natural color imagery. Imagery of the area of Arizona around Luke AFB is 1-meter resolution, BMGR is 0.50 m and the Luke airfield and its immediate on-base surroundings is .30 m resolution.
The BMGR is one of three tactical ranges in the Luke AFB area, spanning several hundred square kilometers. The range serves the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Marine Corps as a training area for aerial gunnery, rocketry, electronic warfare, and tactical maneuvering and air support. As well, pilots and JTACs train for strike and close air support missions at BMGR.
During training exercises, pilots in the F-16 simulators at Luke AFB take off from the virtual airfield and fly to the virtual BMGR.
MetaVR’s Luke airfield model replaced the Presagis airfield model. The terrain’s cultural features include: 171 high-resolution, geolocated models of hangars, offices, storage facilities, and other structures: 104 at Luke AFB and 107 at the East Tactical Range (ETAC) at the BMGR. From photos taken on-site at the air force base, 97 unique geospecific models were built. Models also include a unique high-resolution F-16C aircraft model; runway models at Luke AFB and the main ETAC airfield; 673 static vehicle and sign models; 831,581 cultural lights of the greater Phoenix area as well as runway lights and runway signage at Luke AFB; and 103 geotypical volumetric trees.
56th training squadron
Luke AFB is the home of the 56th Fighter Wing and the 56th Training Squadron (TRS). The mission of the 56th TRS is to provide academic- and ground-based instruction to support training F-16 pilots and weapons directors. The 56th TRS trains almost one-half of all the Air Force’s new fighter pilots each year. It conducts F-16 academic and device training in accordance with major command formal syllabi including initial instruction, transition courses, senior officer courses, Thunderbird and aggressor pilot instruction, forward air control, night systems and Block 50 specialized conversion courses. The 56th TRS also provides academic, simulator and live mission training for more than 75 upgrading weapons directors annually. All 56th TRS training is conducted across six facilities on Luke and the Papago Park military reservation in central Phoenix. This squadron provides Air Force acceptance and quality control of courseware and manages all aircrew training devices for the 56th Fighter Wing.