MetaVR, Inc.

MetaVR News Volume XIX, Issue 1 April 27, 2015  


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

In this issue:

44.A – MetaVR Visuals in Simulators at Nellis AFB JTAC Schoolhouse
44.B – Close Air Solutions' JTAC Simulator at JFACTSU Uses MetaVR Visuals
44.C – NAS Fallon Refresh of JTAC Simulator System With MetaVR Visuals
44.D – MetaVR and Business Partners at ITEC

  Nellis AFB 44.A

MetaVR Visuals in JTAC Simulators at
Nellis AFB JTAC Schoolhouse

The US Air Force's primary joint terminal attack controller (JTAC) Virtual Training Facility at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, uses MetaVR visuals in multiple training dome and desktop configurations for joint fires simulation training. At the facility, often referred to as the “Nellis JTAC schoolhouse,” the 6th Combat Training Squadron (CTS) provides the JTAC Qualification Course (JTACQC) and JTAC Instructor Course (JTACIC) to US Air Force JTAC and JTAC instructor trainees. The JTACQC helps each student develop concepts, doctrine, procedures, and techniques for using combat firepower during joint operations. As the main USAF JTAC training facility, the schoolhouse offers the largest number of co-located and networked USAF JTAC simulators.

For the partial dome simulators, the Headquarters Air Force purchased two Advanced Joint Terminal Attack Controller Training Systems (AJTS) for the facility. The systems were installed in July 2014. The AJTS is a high-fidelity, immersive simulator and is the combined effort of QuantaDyn, USAF Trainer Development Division, Battlespace Simulations (BSI), Immersive Display Solutions (IDSI), and MetaVR. This 5-meter, 270 degree FOV training dome system, which uses 17 MetaVR 3D visual channels, is similar in appearance to a miniature IMAX theater and fully immerses the JTAC trainee in a 3D real-time virtual battlefield. The system is comprised of, in part, commercial off-the-shelf components: Immersive Display Solutions' immersive domed visual display system; BSI's Modern Air Combat Environment (MACE) computer generated force and semi- automated force application with call-for-fire, 5-line and 9-line interfaces; simulated rangefinder/designator, and MetaVR's Virtual Reality Scene Generator (VRSG), geospecific 3D terrain, and model libraries with over 1,800 military entities.

The AJTS training system is designed to meet the requirements for unit training at Air Support Operations Squadrons (ASOS) and Special Tactics Squadrons (STS) and is accredited by the US Joint Fire Support Executive Steering Committee (JFS ESC) and the NATO Standardization Agreement (STANAG); the system meets or exceeds current STANAG standards.

Like the AJTS, the accredited desktop system, called the JTAC-TACP/Operational Simulation Suite (J-T/OSS) v2.0 Desktop system, uses BSI MACE and MetaVR VRSG and enables students to train on a virtual battlefield with Joint Fires interfaces, such as 9-Line, 5-Line, and call for fire (CFF). The JTAC trainee also has VRSG channels available in the form of a simulated monocular/binocular used for laser range finding and target designation, as well as a full-motion video ROVER-type feed for external targeting information. The J-T/OSS system has a variety of DIS tools, including BSI's Viper DIS radio, BSI's DIScord for mission recording and playback/after-action review (AAR). The instructor can control all constructive entities (including attacking aircraft and artillery), as well as ground entities and threats. Features that support such missions include physics-based weapons performance, laser target designation, full-motion infrared video feeds, dynamic scenario inputs, human-level behaviors, path finding, blast effect calculations, complex weather system control, and a robust weapons and entity library. The system is capable of importing existing military topographic database information to enable operators and instructors to quickly develop scenarios appropriate for mission rehearsal. The J-T/OSS Desktop systems are the schoolhouse's “workhorse” trainers; all five systems, which run on a small network, have logged over 15,000 training hours since March 2013.

The JTAC Virtual Training Facility at Nellis AFB opened in October 2010, with six Meggitt Indirect Fire Forward Air Control Trainer (I-FACT) systems. Those systems have since been replaced; all the JTAC simulators at the facility are now running MetaVR and BSI's software. A total of 37 VRSG licenses are in use across all the simulators.

The two dome systems are heavily scheduled for day and night training, and have logged over 3,000 training hours since mid-2014. Due to the advanced capabilities in the day/dusk/night/dawn visual spectrums, these dome systems are often used for training in night-vision view. Trainees in full-kit body armor participate in exercises using a PVS-14 night vision monocular. At present, training is conducted on the dome systems on a standalone basis; plans are underway to network the systems for future participation in distributed mission operations (DMO) exercises.

Both courses are comprised of 1/3 simulation training, 1/3 field training exercise (FTX), and 1/3 academics. The simulation portion requires students to complete seven scenarios within a two-week timeframe on both the dome and desktop simulators. During this time, students map out the planning and execution of specific missions that make up the scenarios. The scenarios in the dome systems are often more complex than what students face in their subsequent field training. Once students complete the JTACQC, they return to their units for evaluation.

Soldiers from other organizations also train on the JTAC simulators. Special Operations personnel spend two weeks twice a year training on the range at Nellis and completing close air support (CAS) exercises on both the dome and desktop JTAC simulators. In addition, National Guard soldiers who visit Nellis to train on the range participate in currency training on the simulators.


  iCASS 44.B

Close Air Solutions JTAC Simulator at
JFACTSU Uses MetaVR Visuals

In partnership with prime contractor Finmeccanica Selex ES, Close Air Solutions has announced the acceptance of its Immersive Close Air Support Simulator (iCASS) training system by the Joint Forward Air Control Training and Standardisation Unit (JFACTSU) of the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD). The iCASS will be used to fulfill the MoD's forward air control training requirement at the Royal Air Force Station Leeming, North Yorkshire, England. Close Air Solutions provides international CAS training and simulation for forward air controllers (FACs), JTACs, aircrew, and the wider military community.

The recently installed iCASS system, is a FAC/JTAC simulation system providing a high-fidelity, immersive training environment with a full AAR capability. The system meets DIS/SISO standards. This system, developed by MetaVR's business partner Close Air Solutions, features a 3 meter 240 x 120 degree FOV immersive dome display from Immersive Display Group and uses MetaVR visuals: 12 VRSG channels for the projected views and simulated laser target designator and range finder, and 3D content. The iCASS also features computer generated/semi-automated forces and threat generation from MetaVR's business partner BSI's MACE, which includes CFF, 9-Line, and 5-Line interfaces as well as the virtual pilot station. The iCASS also uses BSI's Viper DIS radio for communications and DIScord DIS recorder for AAR.

The contract to supply the iCASS was awarded by JFACTSU in November 2014, as initially reported in MetaVR's December 2014 newsletter. In February 2015, Close Air Solutions delivered to and installed at the school both an iCASS-240 immersive simulator and an iCASS desktop simulator (similar to the J-T/OSS simulator described above in item #44.A) with Teleplan Globe's FACNAV Digitally Aided Close Air Support (DACAS) system. Training on the system began at the schoolhouse on April 7th.

The iCASS 240 is an accreditation capable FAC/JTAC simulator in accordance with the NATO STANAG 3797 and US JFS ESC Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) and is expected to undergo accreditation in April 2015 by the US JFS ESC and NATO Standardization teams.

JFACTSU at RAF Leeming is the only NATO and US Joint Services accredited UK Defence training facility for training FACs/JTACs. The JFACTSU currently trains around 100 FACs/JTACs per year from all UK military services (Army, Royal Marines, RAF Regiment, and Special Forces). The installation of the iCASS expands the current training options offered at the school and instructor training on the system is in progress. The iCASS will be in use throughout the JFACTSU curriculum for familiarization, acquisition, practice, and potentially for validation of students.

The initiative behind the development of the iCASS system began with the two Close Air Solutions co-founders, who are former JFACTSU instructors and simulator system architects. During their tenure at the school, they saw the need for students to train on an easy-to-use realistic simulation system.

Close Air Solutions will demonstrate the iCASS at ITEC in booth #4A-140, as described in item
#44.D. immersive-simulator/ jtac-simulator/

  NAS Fallon 44.C

NAS Fallon Refreshes JTAC Simulator System With
MetaVR Visuals

The Naval Air Station (NAS) Fallon, Nevada, is using MetaVR visuals in its Combined Arms Virtual Environment (CAVE) training dome and desktop systems for the simulation portion of the JTAC qualification course at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC).

On January 3, 2015, MetaVR's business partner BSI completed a contract to overhaul/refresh the technology of the Multi-Purpose Supporting Arms Training (MSAT) dome at NSAWC. BSI led a team of engineers from partner companies Scalable Display Technologies, Boston Tech Partners, and MetaVR in the rapid upgrade of the system, which has since been rebranded as CAVE. Students began training on the upgraded system on January 19.

The 22 VRSG visual channels in the CAVE system provide out-the-window (OTW) views for the dome, instructor station, and role player stations, as well as views for UAV camera feed and the simulated rangefinder/designator.

As a significant cost savings measure, which also demonstrates the flexibility of the COTS systems installed for the upgrade, the existing rigid shell 5-meter 240 degree FOV dome and Sony projectors were fully repurposed in the upgraded simulator. This new baseline simulation training system is being proposed for other Navy training sites that currently conduct simulation training on other legacy JTAC simulators.

The system uses BSI's MACE as the CGF/SAF at the instructor station, pilot station, and in the two desktop-based classroom systems, and MetaVR's VRSG, geospecific 3D terrain, and model libraries. It also uses BSI's Viper DIS radio for an operationally realistic communications environment and DIScord for AAR and debrief. MACE is used for scenario generation and execution, including CFF, 9-Line, and 5-Line interfaces.

NAS Fallon is located approximately 70 miles east of Reno and six miles southeast of the city of Fallon. NAS Fallon serves as the Navy's premier tactical air warfare training center with a mission to operate and maintain an airfield and associated bombing and electronic warfare ranges. NSAWC is home to a number of aviation specific weapons schools to include the Rotary Wing Weapons School, the Carrier Airborne Early Warning Weapons School (CAEWS), the Electronic Warfare Weapons School, and the Strike Fighter Weapons School, otherwise known as TOPGUN. NSAWC also hosts pre-deployment training for all Navy Carrier Air Wings (CVWs).

The JTAC qualification course at the NSAWC at NAS Fallon is offered primarily to Naval Special Warfare (NSW) SEALS (94 students annually) and Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) sailors (approximately six students annually). The course consists of two weeks of academics, one week of simulation training, followed by two weeks of field training. During the simulation training, students rotate between the dome and the desktop systems, engaging in air-to-ground CAS combat scenarios. All three systems are networked, using a common set of terrain. Students are typically deployed within 30-60 days of graduation and certification. Depending on availability, training is also offered to personnel from the Marine Corps, Army, USAF, and to coalition partners. The simulator upgrade will enable instructors to dedicate fewer live sorties for evaluation and certification.

Students train on the CAVE under both simulated daytime and nighttime conditions. Night vision training on the CAVE is conducted in VRSG's full visual spectrum (not in sensor mode), using NVG goggles and taking advantage of the simulated lighting conditions automatically calculated from VRSG's ephemeris model. VRSG can simulate the moon position and moon phase from a given date, time, and geographic location.

For conducting networked exercises with the dome, the desktop systems can be reconfigured as cockpit simulators when coupled with a wheeled unit of LED screens. This setup has proved to be especially beneficial during poor weather conditions on the range, as aircrew trainees can sit in the classroom and participate in simulated sensor training.

As part of the simulation technology upgrade, MetaVR has delivered to NAS Fallon high-resolution geospecific terrain of two target ranges on the Fallon Range Training Complex (FRTC) used for field training in the JTAC qualification course. The 2 cm per pixel imagery of the B-17 and B-19 ranges was captured by MetaVR's portable UAV, MetaVRC. The portable UAV was built and flown by Swift Radioplanes in military controlled air space. With both the imagery and NED 10 meter elevation data, MetaVR compiled full-resolution (2 cm) terrain tiles of the ranges with MetaVR Terrain Tools for Esri ArcGIS. The total area of coverage of this terrain data set is 65.81 sq km.

At 2 cm resolution, details such as helicopter landing areas, vehicle targets, and small craters left from exploded ordnance are visible on the terrain. Underlying the high-resolution 3D terrain of the two ranges is MetaVR's CONUS++ terrain, which was built with 1 meter per pixel terrain imagery and DTED-1 elevation data. /nas_fallon.html


2015 44.D
MetaVR and Business Partners at ITEC

MetaVR will exhibit its products and technology at ITEC 2015, April 28 - 30, 2105, at PVA Expo Prague, Czech Republic, in business partner Close Air Solutions' booth #4A-140. Close Air Solutions will conduct JTAC/FAC close air support simulation training scenarios on their new iCASS training simulator, which features a 3-meter 240 x 120 degree FOV immersive dome display from Immersive Display Group, and uses 12 VRSG channels and BSI's MACE. [See item #44.B above for information about Close Air Solutions' iCASS training system.] Also participating in the booth will be partners BSI and Immersive Display Group. All demos will use MetaVR's Kismayo, Somalia, geospecific urban training database.

Close Air Solutions' training demos will extend to Omnifinity's adjacent booth #4A-340 to include a complex integrated training scenario with the OmniDeck 6 omnidirectional motorized treadmill. In addition to the iCASS, the networked scenario will feature a pilot in a 180 x 100 degree cockpit simulator and a small single VRSG channel dome system used by the joint forward observer (JFO). The scenario of a contested environment featuring air and ground threats will start with a JTAC and a JFO on the ground with an MQ-9 Reaper in over watch. Off the coast of Kismayo, a task force of ranger soldiers on alert and a 5th Generation F-35 aircraft on ground alert prepare for an amphibious assault planned for the next day. As part of the preparation, the ground commander conducts aerial reconnaissance, unaware that there is any air threat. What happens as the scenario unfolds will challenge all the participants.

Mike Squires, Business Director of Close Air Solutions, will participate in two sessions at ITEC:

MetaVR's business partner ZedaSoft will also be exhibiting at ITEC, in booth #4A-130 with Plexsys Interface Products. ZedaSoft's CBA for Simulation framework with F-16 plug-in and MetaVR's VRSG runtime and terrain databases will be shown. ZedaSoft will also be demonstrating its Man-in-the-Loop Transfer-of-Control (MiLToC) product showing the transfer of control of a running entity from a constructive to a virtual simulation in real-time. jtac-simulator/ listID=6/t=m

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