MetaVR, Inc.

MetaVR News Volume XVIII, Issue 2 May 19, 2014  


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

This issue focuses on the use of MetaVR Virtual Reality Scene Generator (VRSG) in multiple JTAC (close air support) training programs.

In this issue:

42.A – Air National Guard Contract for 22 JTAC Training Dome Systems
42.B – Continued Sales of JTAC Desktop Simulators to ACC and ASOG
42.C – Update on AFRL's use of VRSG in JTAC Training Research
42.D – MetaVR Visuals and 3D Terrain at Bold Quest 14.2
42.E – MetaVR to Sponsor Fall CAS Conference in London
42.F – MetaVR Sponsors 65 Veterans for Honor Flight New England

  JTAC Domes 42.A

Air National Guard Contract for 22 JTAC Training Dome Systems

QuantaDyn has received a production contract for 22 Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) simulators, called the Air National Guard Advanced JTAC Training System (AAJTS), after a two-year development process culminating in a formal government accreditation. This 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. Multiple AAJTS systems will be installed this year across the U.S. at a rate of approximately one system every six weeks.

On April 21, 2014, the Oklahoma Air National Guard unveiled the first AAJTS at the Will Rogers Air National Guard Base in Oklahoma City. This JTAC simulation system, which uses MetaVR visuals, geospecific 3D terrain, and entity models, is the first operational AAJTS production system in the U.S. The AAJTS is accredited by the U.S. Joint Fire Support Executive Steering Committee (JFS ESC) and the NATO Standardization Agreement (STANAG); the system meets or exceeds current STANAG standards. In the JFS ESC's JTAC Memorandum of Agreement, the AAJTS is accredited for JTAC training of types 1, 2, and 3 controls for both day and night, and for laser target designation with a simulated military laser. The number of required JTAC training missions has recently been increased from two simulation events to eight simulation events, which AAJTS supports.

Currently in production are 17 systems for the Air National Guard (ANG), three systems for the Air Combat Command (ACC), and one system for an AFSOC site, Hurlburt Field, which is upgrading one of its desktop JTAC training simulators to the AAJTS. Two systems will be installed at Nellis Air Force Base (AFB), which houses the JTAC schoolhouse. A few ANG sites are converting a structure or building a new structure to house the dome system. The next AAJTS installation is scheduled for the Idaho Air National Guard Base at Gowen Field, Boise, ID. Overseas, the first European order for an AAJTS, purchased by the Latvia military, is scheduled to be installed this spring in Latvia.

The AAJTS is a fully immersive simulator designed to support ANG JTAC and combat controller squadron level continuation, qualification and mission rehearsal training. AAJTS encompasses high-fidelity visual displays, geospecific terrain databases, military equipment emulators, and associated hardware and software. Designed to meet the requirements for unit training at Air Support Operations Squadrons (ASOS) and Special Tactics Squadrons (STS), the training system can connect to networks with other simulators so JTACs can train with pilots operating aircraft simulators (such as A-10 or F-16 FMTs) in other locations. One such training exercise is the Bold Quest coalition event described in item #42.D.

Development of the AAJTS is a combined effort of QuantaDyn, USAF Trainer Development Division, Battlespace Simulations (BSI), Immersive Display Solutions, and MetaVR. The system is comprised of, in part, commercial off-the-shelf components provided by BSI (computer generated force and semi- automated force application with call-for-fire, 5-line and 9-line interfaces), Immersive Display Solutions (5-meter immersive domed visual display system), and MetaVR's VRSG channels (providing visuals for the dome, the Remotely Operated Video Enhanced Receiver (ROVER), and appropriateemulated military equipment).

The AAJTS includes an array of emulated military equipment, such as a virtual binoculars and laser designator modified to include night vision capability, simulated radios, a ROVER, a Defense Advanced GPS Receiver (DAGR), and an M4 rifle with scope. The dome has 5.1 surround sound, and trainees can use the same headsets for training as they would use in the field. Barco 35IR projectors are used in the dome, custom tuned for night vision device stimulation.

  JTAC Desktops 42.B

Continued Sales of JTAC Desktop Simulators to ACC and ASOG

Battlespace Simulations (BSI) has received a contract for the delivery and installation of ten units of MetaVR and BSI's accredited JTAC desktop simulator, called the JTAC-TACP/Operational Simulation Suite (J-T/OSS) v2.0 Desktop System. The contract is for three ASOGs located at Fort Hood, TX, (3rd ASOG), Pope Army Airfield, NC, (18th ASOG) and McChord AFB, WA, (1st ASOG).

In addition, the ACC's 705 Combat Training Squadron, which is the USAF's Distributed Mission Operations Center (DMOC) at Kirtland AFB, NM, has purchased and is facilitating the installation of the five additional ACC J-T/OSS 2.0 systems.

These new sales follow a number of J-T/OSS v2.0 systems installed in 2013 at Nellis AFB, Hunter Army Airfield, Joint Base Lewis McChord, Kirtland AFB, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, USAG Vilseck, Germany, and the Warrior Preparation Center, Einsiedlerhof, Germany.

The J-T/OSS v2.0 Desktop System includes the same BSI MACE and MetaVR VRSG software that is in the AAJTS as described in item #42.A. The system enables students to train on a virtual battlefield with CAS interfaces, such as 9-Line, 5-Line, and Call for Fire. The JTAC trainee also has VRSG channels available in the form of a monocular/binocular used for laser range finding and target designation with a simulated laser range finder/laser designator, as well as a full motion video ROVER-type feed for external targeting information. The system has a variety of Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) tools, including DIS radios and a DIS recorder for recording and AAR/playback of missions. The instructor can control all constructive entities (including attacking aircraft and artillery), as well as ground entities and threats.


Training 42.C

Update on AFRL's use of VRSG in JTAC Training Research

MetaVR VRSG is used at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Warfighter Readiness Research Division, 711th Human Performance Wing, at Wright Patterson Air Force Base for JTAC training research in three JTAC dome training systems. These systems, called Joint Terminal Attack Controller Training Rehearsal Systems (JTAC-TRS), were built in 2007 and installed at the AFRL site in Mesa, AZ, and then moved to Wright-Patterson AFB in 2012. These JTAC dome simulators are the precursors to the next generation JTAC dome training systems currently fielded or in production today, such as the AAJTS described above in item #42.A. They provide AFRL with the testbed capability to continue the research and development for training in all facets of CAS and joint fires.

The 360-degree dome system uses 19 VRSG channels (16 for the dome and three for the emulated military devices). The system includes six emulated military devices: SOFLAM, M22 binoculars, Mark VIIE laser range finder/laser designator, IZLID long-range IR laser pointer/marker, and DAGR. A stealth view and two instructor stations run BSI MACE. The two 5-meter dome systems run 15 projectors and have the same emulated military device and instructor station setup as the 360-degree dome.

Although the JTAC dome systems are used mainly for objective research, soldiers occasionally execute currency training on one of the 5-meter domes (active duty policy and process); these systems were among those that received accreditation by the JFS ESC in 2012.

AFRL has been researching the feasibility of simulator training for JTACs and other categories of warfighters. Back in 2007, the main research question was "Can a simulator be used to supplement live training?" In the years that have followed, that question has been answered affirmatively and JTACs can now gain training hours toward certification on an accredited JTAC simulation training system, as described in items #42.A and #42.B.

The next step is to conduct more specific research about the JTAC. The lab has been developing an adaptive syllabus with the goal of starting a research project on JTAC training defined by research questions in late 2015 or early 2016.

Recently, the close air support (CAS) training missions that are run in the JTAC dome systems have begun to interact with an in-house Predator simulator, called the Predator Research Integrated Network Combat Environment (PRINCE). PRINCE is a high fidelity, AFRL-developed MQ-1 Predator training-research simulator, which was built two years ago. VRSG is currently being integrated as the simulator's IG for cross-training with the JTAC dome systems. For example, the simulated UAV will soon be able take part in a CAS training mission that includes a convoy overwatch with enemy targets in the area; VRSG generates the simulated UAV camera feed that appears on both the ground control station monitor and a ROVER device used by the JTAC. VRSG's video output supports KLV encoding of UAV telemetry in a compliant subset of NATO standard STANAG 4096.

  Bold Quest 42.D
MetaVR Visuals and 3D Terrain at Bold Quest 14.2

MetaVR visuals and terrain were used in two simulation training systems during the live/virtual interoperability exercise at the U.S. Joint Staff-led Bold Quest 14.2 coalition demonstration event, which takes place May 5-22, 2014, at several sites in the U.S. (The live/virtual interoperability exercise ended May 15.) This annual event focuses on combat interoperability with coalition partners involving air combat assessment, joint fires, maneuvers, and system concepts. In addition to the U.S., other coalition nations participating in the event include Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Denmark, Finland, France, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.

During the Bold Quest live/virtual interoperability exercise, MetaVR VRSG and 3D terrain of White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) were used in the AAJTS and in an F-16 simulator at Holloman Air Force Base. See item #42.A for more information about the AAJTS.

The WSMR 3D terrain covers a 237 sq km area for the exercise and was built from 22 cm imagery and 1 meter National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) imagery provided by the geospatial group at WSMR and 1 meter imagery used in MetaVR's CONUS++ terrain. The terrain's elevation was built from DTED2, DTED1, 5 meter interferometric synthetic aperture radar (IFSAR), and 10 meter National Elevation Dataset (NED) source data, all provided by the WSMR geospatial group.

MetaVR built the WSMR virtual terrain with the company's Terrain Tools for Esri ArcGIS, and placed culture models of storage containers, fortifications, and other elements from MetaVR's 3D content libraries on the exercise area of the terrain using the new VRSG Scenario Editor.

MetaVR's business partner ZedaSoft provided its role-player software installed on its Reconfigurable Desktop System simulator to portray the F-16 aircraft in a CAS role working with the AAJTS. The F-16 simulator also uses MetaVR visuals, terrain, and models. (AAJTS feature starts at 2:38)

  CAS Conference 42.E
MetaVR to Sponsor Fall CAS Conference in London

MetaVR will be the lead sponsor of the 12th annual Omega Close Air Support Conference and Exhibition, to be held at the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich London November 18-19, 2014.

Close Air Solutions Ltd., which provides FAC/JTAC currency training and consultation, will demonstrate MetaVR and BSI's accredited JTAC desktop simulator in the exhibitor area of the conference.

  Honor Flight 42.F

MetaVR Sponsors 65 Veterans for Honor Flight
New England

On Sunday May 18, 2014, MetaVR sponsored a group of 65 World War II veterans from Honor Flight New England on their Honor Flight to visit the World War II Memorial and other memorials in Washington, D.C. For most of the veterans, it was the first time they had ever traveled to Washington D.C. to see the memorials. Accompanying each veteran was a volunteer, or guardian (family member or program volunteer), who traveled at his or her own expense and offered assistance to the veteran throughout the trip. In addition to visiting the World War II Memorial, the veterans observed the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, and visited the Korean War Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial Wall.

Honor Flight New England (HFNE) is part of the national organization Honor Flight Network and is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America's veterans for all of their sacrifices. Through generous donations veterans have the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., to visit and reflect at their memorials at no personal expense. Top priority is given to the senior veterans – World War II survivors, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill. The program is recognized as a concrete way of expressing gratitude for the service and sacrifice of US military men and women. Since 2009 HFNE has given over 800 veterans the opportunity to visit their memorials in the nation's capital.

This event was the third HFNE chartered flight to Washington D.C. that MetaVR has sponsored. Sponsorship provides all transportation and meals. MetaVR appreciates the opportunity to support the efforts of Honor Flight New England, and we encourage readers to contact their local Honor Flight chapters and support this important program.

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