MetaVR, Inc.

MetaVR News Volume XIV, Issue 4 November 29, 2010  


MetaVR creates 3D real-time environments that provide the fidelity of geospecific simulation with game quality graphics and performance.

In this issue:
31.A – MetaVR's Full Country 3D Terrain of Afghanistan
31.B – JTACs Train in F-16-based Joint Virtual Exercise
31.C – SRI Acquires 17 New VRSG Licenses for XCTC Program
31.D – More VRSG Sales to Cubic for Rapid-Fire Weapon Simulator
31.E – Over 1,000 MetaVR Visuals used in UAS Simulation Training
31.F – Tenth Anniversary of Czech Army's Use of MetaVR Visuals
31.G – MetaVR at I/ITSEC 2010

 3D Terrain of Afghanistan 30.A

MetaVR's Full Country 3D Terrain of Afghanistan

MetaVR coverage of its geospecific 3D virtual terrain of Afghanistan now encompasses the entire country at 647,500 sq. km in the company's round-earth Metadesic terrain format. This virtual terrain is available for use with MetaVR's Virtual Reality Scene Generator (VRSG) for simulation and training. Within the terrain is a highly detailed 2 sq. km terrain of a 3D geospecific Afghan village with approximately 520 custom-built 3D structures that match the building footprints visible on the source imagery. The modeled village is based on the small village of Khairabad in the southern part of the Kabul province. This virtual village and its surrounding mountainous terrain is optimized for conducting ground combat simulations, such as sniper, IED detection, and forward air controller or JTAC exercises, with a high degree of realism.

This terrain, built with MetaVR's Terrain Tools for ESRI ArcGIS, was compiled with 2.5 meter source imagery for the whole country and includes an area of 1,120 sq. km of 60 cm Digital Globe commercial satellite source imagery and 90 meter elevation posts. Within this area is the highly detailed 2 sq. km terrain of a 3D geospecific Afghan village. This terrain is free of charge in MetaVR's terrain format to MetaVR customers on active software maintenance.

JTAC F-16 Joint Virtual Exercise 30.B

JTACs Train in F-16-based Joint
Virtual Exercise

During the third week of August, 2010, players within the Air National Guard (ANG) community completed another simulator milestone when the 169th Air Support Operations Squadrons (ASOS) at Illinois ANG in Peoria linked its joint terminal attack controller (JTAC) simulator with three F-16 Full Mission Trainer (FMT) simulators from the newly operational Mission Training Center (MTC) at the Vermont ANG facilities in Burlington, Vermont. VRSG drove the visuals for the training systems at the sites and provided fully correlated terrain. Some 30 ASOS units now have MetaVR-based visual systems that provide both a first person JTAC simulation capability and simulated UAV video feeds. 

The JTAC at the 169th ASOS was simulated by MetaVR VRSG's First Person Simulator (FPS) mode, which acts like a traditional first person shooter by enabling the operator to traverse the virtual terrain on foot with a view from a simulated targeting designator device. The complexity of the task was magnified by having the JTAC coordinate the flight of two F-16s flown by actual pilots at the Vermont F-16 MTC and then conduct a swap of aircraft halfway through the event with another manned F-16 simulator for refueling, all the while supporting a convoy under fire in an Afghanistan scenario. Airspace coordination was established by networked radio voice communication between the pilots and the ground-based JTAC using common ground reference points in the 3D terrain database. White cell support came from the Iowa ANG Distributed Training Operations Center (DTOC) in the form of Army ground players. Using VRSG visuals, all three geographically disparate sites were connected via a secure long-haul network data link.

During the course of the event, the JTAC controlled multiple gun runs from the F-16s and one GBU-12 attack using Type I and Type II procedures with good effects. In addition to kinetic effects, the JTAC also tasked the F-16s to provide non-traditional ISR for the convoy via their targeting pods. A full mission briefing preceded the event complete with graphics and mission planning. After the event all players debriefed the event and reviewed CAS procedures for future FMT events.

MetaVR recently expanded its fully immersive dome-based JTAC simulators to include both a 3 meter and 5 meter dome.

 VRSG Licenses for XCTC 30.C

SRI Acquires 17 New VRSG Licenses for XCTC

SRI recently purchased 17 new VRSG licenses for use in the Army National Guard's eXportable Combat Training Capability (XCTC) program. The XCTC program uses MetaVR visuals to monitor the movements of soldiers in tactical exercises in its portable pre-deployment battlefield training system. Since 2005, a total of 49 VRSG licenses have been purchased for use in the XCTC training program, and most recently in the US Army Reserve’s Combat Support Training Exercise (CSTX) at Ft. McCoy. Since 2003, SRI has also used VRSG to provide visuals for the Joint Training Experimentation Program (JTEP) in homeland defense and disaster management exercises.

 MH47G Gunner 30.D

More VRSG Sales to Cubic for Rapid-Fire
Weapon Simulator Upgrade Visuals

Cubic recently purchased 15 more VRSG licenses for use in part, in its new rapid-fire weapon simulator, called the M134D Virtual Trainer. This simulator uses MetaVR's VRSG with highly parallelized mission functions processing, to drive the visualization of the round flyouts. Per Cubic Corporation's press release, the new weapon simulator "replicates the characteristics of a Gatling-style gun, firing up to 3,000 rounds a minute." MetaVR's technology is also used in Cubic's simulated small arms trainers Engagement Skills Training System (EST) 2000 Plus.

 Shadow UAS over Afghanistan 30.E

Over 1,000 MetaVR Visuals used in UAS
Simulation Training

MetaVR is the largest supplier of unmanned aerial system (UAS) commercial 3D visualization software licenses for the US military with over 1,000 active Virtual Reality Scene Generator (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, where since 2001 VRSG has been driving the visuals. MUSE/AFSERS, 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 One System Ground Control Station (GCS) which is used for training Shadow TUAS, Hunter, Aerosonde, and Grey Eagle unmanned aerial systems. Insitu uses VRSG licenses for simulation training of one of its Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). The U.S. Army’s Brigade Combat Team Modernization program (BCTM) uses VRSG to develop XM156 Class 1 UAV simulations.

The MUSE/AFSERS simulation system 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 the MUSE, which 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. 

Since 2002, AAI has used MetaVR 3D visualization software to provide the desktop and embedded 3D synthetic payload visualization system for training UAS operators on its embedded Shadow Crew Trainer One System Ground Control Station to support their embedded trainers in Hunter, Shadow TUAS, Aerosonde, and Grey Eagle unmanned aerial systems, which are used by U.S. Army and Army National Guard units, and more recently by international customers. MetaVR visuals are also used in AAI's new Universal Ground Control Station (UGCS), the next generation of One System Ground Control technology. The One System GCS is the premier ground control station of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, used to operate multiple unmanned aircraft systems over battlefield and operations areas and disseminate the valuable intelligence video collected. One System GCS complies with STANAG 4586, a NATO standardization agreement that enables various UAS to share information through common ground stations, thus enhancing interoperability among allied military forces. AAI also uses MetaVR VRSG licenses in its Shadow TADSS desktop training suite for the National Guard.

MetaVR's visualization software is used to train UAS operators at the Institutional Mission Simulator used at the UAS schoolhouse at Ft. Huachuca, AZ. This facility consists of mockups of the actual GCS vehicles in a class room setting.

One aspect of training UAS operators entails interacting with JTACs in joint mission training. Training together in a networked synthetic environment, the UAS operator and the JTAC on the ground work together for target confirmation via target walk-ons.

 VRGroup BMP2 30.F

Tenth Anniversary of Czech Republic Army's
Use of MetaVR Visuals

2010 marks the 10th anniversary of MetaVR's support of the Army of the Czech Republic's Centre of Simulation and Trainer Technologies (CSTT) in Brno via the Czech-based systems integrator VR Group. Some readers may note that Bohemia Interactive Simulations is based in the Czech Republic; however, MetaVR continues to be the primary provider of visuals systems at the CSTT.

The CSTT has trained Czech military professionals as well as professionals in the military forces of Austria, Slovakia, and the US (Texas National Guard). Tens of thousands of military professionals, military schools students, and civilian universities students have trained at the state-of-the-art facility with the tools of constructive, virtual and life simulation and have practiced the skills for classic warfare and for missions in operations other than war.

Over the past ten years, VR Group has obtained 53 MetaVR VRSG licenses to provide visual systems for their Reconfigurable Tactical Virtual Simulators for various training programs of the Czech Armed Forces. As a leading supplier of advanced simulation solutions for the Czech Armed Forces, VR Group uses MetaVR visual systems in their Team Leader Simulator (dismounted infantry squad for a tactical training), and crew simulators of BMP-2 combat vehicles, Land Rover Defender 110 TDi Military Armored 3 Special Operations Vehicle (SOV), T-72 and T-72 M4CZ tanks, Mi-17 and Mi-24 helicopters, among other programs.

Four of VR Group's BMP-2 crew simulators were recently installed at the CSTT's OSTT Vyskov division. These full motion simulators, which sit on hydraulics motion platforms, are designed for basic and advanced training of drivers of BMP-2 infantry combat vehicles.

 MetaVR at I/ITSEC 2010 30.G

MetaVR at I/ITSEC 2010

MetaVR will exhibit its products and technology in Booth #1345 at the annual Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference and Trade Show (I/ITSEC), November 29 – December 2, 2010, at the South Building of the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL, USA.

MetaVR will showcase new 3D terrain and features and enhancements in the forthcoming release of Virtual Reality Scene Generator (VRSG) version 5.7. Demonstrations will include:
  • New high-fidelity geospecific 3D terrain of Luke Air Force Base, to include the full airfield and the Barry M. Goldwater Range with target models, that extends as far as the Nellis Air Force Base. The terrain was built in MetaVR's round-earth Metadesic format from natural color imagery. The imagery resolution over the entire 40+ geocell area is at least 1 meter per pixel, and finer in some regions. The terrain consists of approximately 2 geocells of 50 centimeter resolution insets covering the Luke AFB, Barry Goldwater Range, and the greater Phoenix metro area. A city light model of the greater Phoenix area road networks is also included for night reference flying. The high-resolution Luke airfield area of the terrain contains approximately 120 geospecific photo-textured structures, and an assortment of trees, power lines, and poles. All site-specific building models on the terrain were created with textures derived from high-resolution ground-level photographs taken at the site.
  • MetaVR's Afghanistan 3D terrain, which, as mentioned in item 31.A, now covers the entire country at 647,500 sq. km with 2.5 meter resolution satellite imagery in MetaVR's Metadesic format; demonstrations include several real-time scenarios with several hundred characters. The scenarios are centered on the high-resolution virtual area of the Afghan province of Kabul, and include a high-speed fixed-wing flight and UAV reconnaissance. Other scenarios depict ground combat simulations such as snipers, IED detection, insurgent activity in a tunnel network, and forward air controller or JTAC missions. These scenarios feature a high-resolution (60 centimeter imagery) modeled Afghan village based on Khairabad located in the southern part of the Kabul province.
  • VRSG's enhanced IR support demonstrated in a 24 hour physics-based diurnal cycle on the company's Afghanistan 3D terrain.
  • Various weather conditions to include storms cells during F-16 takeoff, flight, and landing sequences on MetaVR's virtual terrain of Vermont at night. This terrain features a highly detailed inset area of the Vermont Air National Guard (ANG) base facilities and airfield at the Burlington International Airport. Night scenes will feature geospecific lighting of buildings and runway lights. All site-specific building models on the terrain were created with textures derived from high-resolution ground-level photographs taken at the site. This terrain database is used for simulation training at the Vermont ANG’s newly operational F-16 four-ship Mission Training Center at the Burlington airfield.

MetaVR will also preview version 1.2 of MetaVR Terrain Tools for ESRI ArcGIS. MetaVR's set of Terrain Tools enables users to turn their geospatial data into real-time 3D terrain from within their GIS software. Version 1.2 introduces support for cut-and-fill linear and areal features, as well as a web-based distributed build management system.

In its booth at I/ITSEC, MetaVR will host two of its business partners. Simthetiq, MetaVR's preferred provider of military models and high-resolution modeled databases, will demonstrate its automated toolset developed specifically for creating high-resolution 3D environments such as Middle Eastern virtual cities and rural villages. (Simthetiq will also demonstrate its modeling workflow in its own booth, #1972.) Battlespace Simulations will demonstrate its Modern Air Combat Environment (MACE) software, which uses MetaVR visuals. MACE, a physics-based many-on-many simulation, will generate aircraft, integrated air defense sites, cultural features, and weapons over a Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) network.

MetaVR's partner, Immersive Display Solutions will host two demonstrations featuring MetaVR technology in Booth #1245, immediately adjacent to MetaVR's booth: AFRL will demonstrate its X-DTT F-16 cockpit simulator with a 3-meter dome display, and MetaVR and Immersive Display Solutions will demonstrate their JTAC MiniDome, a joint effort of both companies. The JTAC MiniDome on display provides a 220-degree horizontal FOV and 90-degree vertical FOV in a small form factor, transportable, hemispherical display of simulated geospecific real-time 3D terrain. This flexible 6-channel VRSG training system combines the ability to train in an immersive transportable dome with functionality analogous to that currently used in desktop JTAC simulation configurations using VRSG. Battlespace Simulations will participate in collaborative demos with MetaVR and Immersive Display Solutions featuring interactive JTAC scenarios on one or more of MetaVR's featured 3D terrain sets.

MetaVR technology will also be demonstrated by other exhibitors at I/ITSEC.

AAI will demonstrate its Shadow Crew Trailer in Booths #1837 and 1845. As mentioned in item #31.E, AAI uses VRSG in its embedded Shadow Crew Trainer (SCT) One System Ground Control Station. AAI will also demonstrate a trailerized SCT in Oshkosh’s Booth #895.

The Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) will use MetaVR visuals in three demonstrations: its X-DTT F-16 cockpit simulator with a motion platform and 3-LCD panel display in ACME Worldwide Enterprises’ Booth #2746, the aforementioned X-DTT F-16 cockpit simulator in Immersive Display's Booth #1245 with a 3-meter dome, and in a 5-meter JTAC dome in the US Air Force Booth #2244. The latter demonstration will feature the Swedish Defense Lab participating with a JAS-39 Gripen simulator in a coalition humanitarian operation scenario. The two X-DTT simulators and the JTAC dome simulation will be networked for the demonstration.

SRI will show in Booth #2919 excerpts from the After Action Reviews (AARs) of this year's eight major field deployments for Army National Guard's XCTC program, and U.S. Army Reserve Command Combat Support Training Exercise (CSTX). As described in item #31.C, these programs use MetaVR visuals to monitor the movements of soldiers in tactical exercises in its portable pre-deployment battlefield training system, and in the system's AAR capability.

Zedasoft will demonstrate in Booth #1237 its new Reconfigurable Cockpit System and other simulators using MetaVR visuals.

Cubic Defense Applications in Booth #1255 will conduct off-site demonstrations using MetaVR visuals.

Air Education and Training Command (Booth #723) and Northrop Grumman (Booth #1655) will also use MetaVR visuals in their simulation demonstrations.

When you visit MetaVR's booth, you can pick up our show floor plan that highlights the booth locations of some of our customers and partners.

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MetaVR, Virtual Reality Scene Generator, VRSG, Metadesic, the phrase "geospecific simulation with game quality graphics", and the MetaVR logo are trademarks of MetaVR, Inc. Metadesic US Patent 7,425,952.
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