MetaVR, Inc.

MetaVR News Volume XVII, Issue 3 January 23, 2014  


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

In this issue:

– MetaVR's Delivery of VRSG to Production KC-135R ANG BOSS
40.B – MetaVR's New 3D Terrain of Kismayo, Somalia
40.C – MetaVR's New Aerial Imagery Collection Aircraft and Process
40.D – MetaVR at I/ITSEC
40.E – MetaVR Granted Innovation Award by Military Training Technology

   KC-135R ANG BOSS 40.A

MetaVR's Delivery of VRSG to Production

MetaVR has started delivering its Virtual Reality Scene Generator (VRSG) real-time licenses for the production order of the KC-135R Air National Guard (ANG) Boom Operator Simulator System (BOSS). In November, 2013, the first 14 VRSG licenses were delivered to FAAC Inc., part of Arotech Corporation's Training and Simulation Division. The second 14 VRSG licenses have been delivered to FAAC in January, 2014. The total BOSS production run will consist of 17 simulators, each with 7 MetaVR VRSG software licenses, for a total of 119 licenses over the aerial refueling simulator's two-year production period.

  Kismayo Terrain 40.B

MetaVR's New 3D Terrain of Kismayo, Somalia

MetaVR has built new high-resolution geospecific 3D terrain of the southern Somalia port city of Kismayo. The 3D terrain is populated with hundreds of geographically specific culture models built from ground-level photographs taken on the streets of Kismayo. In addition to these geolocated and photo-specific models of buildings and other structures, several hundred other buildings were modeled by matching the structural footprints visible in the imagery as geotypical models with culturally and architecturally accurate details. The models are combined with 50 cm per-pixel Digital Globe (GeoEye-1) satellite imagery covering 1,017 sq km of the southern Somalia port city and are blended into 15-meter natural view imagery of all of Somalia with SRTM void filled elevation source data. This virtual terrain was built in MetaVR's round-earth format with MetaVR Terrain Tools for Esri ArcGIS for visualizing in Virtual Reality Scene Generator(VRSG). For placing persistent cultural features on the terrain, VRSG Scenario Editor was used as part of the terrain workflow. VRSG Scenario Editor was also used to create multiple scenarios that are delivered with the terrain.

MetaVR chose Kismayo as the location for its new virtual 3D environment because the city contains varied terrain representative of important training environments, from a built-up port to dense urban streets to a sparsely populated outer region that includes a commercial airport. Because of the highly detailed geospecific nature of the virtual Kismayo terrain, this database can be used for a variety of training purposes: unmanned air vehicle (UAV) operators practicing target identification, JTACs coordinating ground strikes, ground units participating in exercises of urban insurgent clashes, helicopter pilots practicing landing drills, and coastline security missions. In each case, actual geolocated structures can be used as landmarks rather than the typical use of maps. This virtual terrain is an entirely self-financed venture by MetaVR and is available free of charge in our round-earth terrain format to customers who are on active software maintenance.

The Kismayo 3D terrain and the scenarios were demonstrated in MetaVR's booth at I/ITSEC. [See item #40.D.]


  MetaVRC 40.C

MetaVR's New Aerial Imagery Collection Aircraft
and Process

MetaVR has established a low-cost process for collecting imagery of an area of interest with a portable aircraft, and using that imagery in building geospecific 3D terrain with 3 cm per-pixel resolution imagery for real-time simulation. Compiling this high-resolution imagery with accurate elevation data in MetaVR's Terrain Tools for Esri ArcGIS results in a realistic geospecific synthetic environment that can be rendered in VRSG at 60 Hz.

The MetaVRC, MetaVR's remote-controlled aircraft for imagery data collection, is a low profile, lightweight, and portable plane that has been modified to accommodate autonomous flight. The aircraft captures high-resolution still-frame images at 1 inch resolution, which after orthorectification, can used as imagery source data. With geospecific imagery at this resolution, a physics-based IR profile of the terrain can be created in VRSG version 5.8 with a high degree of realism. The aerial imagery can also be used to create custom 3D models of any or all of the surrounding area elements, based upon the aerial imagery and supplemented with ground-level photographs. Content can be relevant and specific to various kinds of simulation training, such as military mission exercises, law enforcement, or emergency/disaster response.

Both the portable aircraft itself and 3D terrain built from imagery captured during a test run of the aircraft were demonstrated in MetaVR's booth at I/ITSEC. VRSG's physics-based IR simulation was also demonstrated on the 3 cm terrain. [See item #40.D.]

  I/ITSEC 40.D


MetaVR exhibited its products and technology in Booth #1249 at the annual Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference and Trade Show (I/ITSEC), held December 2 – 5, 2013, at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL, USA.

MetaVR showcased features and enhancements including 3D terrain of Somalia, imagery collection and terrain creation, VRSG, and 3D models. Demonstrations in the MetaVR booth included:

  • New high-resolution geospecific 3D terrain of the southern Somalia port city of Kismayo: Several scenarios that take place on the Kismayo terrain were demonstrated. All scenarios were built with VRSG Scenario Editor. [See item #40.B.]

  • New portable aircraft system for generating geospecific real-time 3D terrain: The MetaVRC, MetaVR's remote-controlled aircraft for imagery data collection, and 3D terrain built from the 1 inch imagery captured by the aircraft during a test run was demonstrated. VRSG's physics-based IR simulation was also demonstrated on the 3D terrain. [See item #40.C.]

  • JTAC training classroom: MetaVR and Battlespace Simulations' (BSI's) Joint Terminal Attack Control (JTAC) desktop simulation system was set up in MetaVR's booth for conducting JTAC training exercises. This JTAC simulator was granted accreditation in 2012 by the US Joint Fire Support Executive Steering Committee (JFS ESC) for JTAC training. This privately funded commercial-off-the-shelf simulator is accredited for types 1, 2, and 3 controls for both day and night, and for laser target designation with a simulated military laser designator, in accordance with the JTAC Memorandum of Agreement. Type 1 accreditation requires either a 220+ degree FOV dome display or a head-mounted display (HMD). In 2013, BSI and MetaVR installed a number of these accredited JTAC training systems for US forces throughout the US and in Germany, Japan, and the UK. Exercises on our accredited simulator included complex close-air-support scenarios with a pilot-in-the-loop/role-player capability to conduct 5-Line, 9-Line and Call-for-Fire type training events. These exercises took place on MetaVR's virtual 3D terrains, generated from BSI's Modern Air Combat Environment (MACE) software running on the pilot/role-player stations. MACE includes realistic, flyable flight models and a HUD overlay for VRSG to help the operator put bombs (or guns) on target. One pilot/role player station featured an Immersive Desktop curved screen display from Immersive Display Solutions. Emulated military devices available for simulated laser designation included SOFLAM and Mark VIIE devices and virtual binoculars.

    The exercises contained scenarios taking place in a non-permissive (high-threat) environment showcasing the physics-based threat systems within MACE. The JTAC faced an additional challenge, not being line-of-sight to the target and having to rely on the assistance of a Joint Forward Observer (JFO). Former strike pilots and JTAC instructors from Close Air Solutions conducted the training. Classes ran approximately one hour, including a debrief wrap-up.

  • New VRSG Scenario Editor: MetaVR's new scenario-creation and editing application, which is delivered with VRSG version 5.8, enables users to build up real-time 3D content and create pattern of life scenarios to play back in VRSG. While using the game-like interface, users can draw from the entity and culture assets from MetaVR's model libraries of over 4,300 models as well as libraries of animations and effects. VRSG Scenario Editor was used to create most of the company's real-time demos on display at I/ITSEC.

  • Geospecific 3D terrain of CONUS++: MetaVR's 3D terrain of Continental US plus Alaska and Hawaii (CONUS++) in round-earth format features 1 mpp natural color imagery of CONUS itself and natural color imagery ranging from 0.25 to 2 mpp resolution for the newly built Alaska and Hawaii areas. Demos included F-16 takeoff, flight, and landing sequences over high-resolution areas built up with cultural content such as Luke Air Force Base, Nellis Air Force Base, Ft. Worth Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base/Carswell Field, Homestead Air Reserve, and VT Air National Guard facility at Burlington International Airport. Many of these high-resolution areas with cultural content were developed and delivered as part of sales of VRSG licenses to several F-16 training sites around the US.

MetaVR also demonstrated MetaVR Terrain Tools for ArcGIS, which enables users to turn their geospatial data into real-time 3D terrain from within their GIS software. The 3D terrains featured in all of the company's I/ITSEC demos were built with MetaVR Terrain Tools.

MetaVR hosted several business partners in its booth: BSI, Close Air Solutions, Immersive Display Solutions, and Radiance Technologies.

  • BSI demonstrated the latest version of MACE, a computer generated forces (CGF)/semi-automated forces (SAF) software application, which uses VRSG for its 3D visuals and is capable of simulating a contested battlespace. BSI also demonstrated its other software simulation and training products: Viper, a low-cost PC-based DIS radio, and DIScord, a DIS recorder used for after action review. In addition, BSI's MACE was demonstrated in the Air National Guard's AAJTS system described below.

  • Close Air Solutions, providers of close air support training in all fields of air-land integration, facilitated training exercises in the JTAC training classroom.

  • Immersive Display Solutions demonstrated its ImmersiveDesktop curved screen display in the JTAC training classroom and ran VRSG as part of a demonstration of a new desktop display. In addition, Immersive Display Solutions' 5-meter dome was demonstrated in the Air National Guard's AAJTS system described below.

  • Radiance Technologies demonstrated the Ground Procedural Trainer (GPT) developed for the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) to provide training for airborne sensor operators on the Airborne Reconnaissance Low-Multifunction (ARL-M) and Medium Altitude, Reconnaissance and Surveillance (MARSS) platforms. The student workstations use the same hardware and tactical IMINT and COMINT software from the aircraft workstations to provide a realistic training environment. The student workstations consist of two computers: one computer uses VRSG version 5.8 with VRSG's new physics-based IR to display a simulated EO/IR sensor, and the second computer hosts the tactical software. A simulation host links these two computers to provide interaction between the simulated EO/IR sensor and the tactical software. Using VRSG Scenario Editor, hundreds of unique scenarios have been created for the GPT to train students on different missions.

MetaVR technology was also demonstrated by other exhibitors at I/ITSEC:

  • AAI demonstrated in Booth #829 a partial Shadow UAS Crew Trainer mobile classroom, with VRSG generating the simulated UAV camera payload.

  • The Air National Guard Trainer Development and QuantaDyn demonstrated in Booth #1963 the Advanced JTAC Training System (AAJTS) prototype simulator.

The AAJTS is a fully immersive simulator designed to support US Air National Guard JTAC and combat controller squadron-level continuation, qualification and mission-rehearsal training. The simulator encompasses high-fidelity visual displays, geospecific visual databases, equipment emulators, and associated hardware and software. The AAJTS is designed to meet the requirements for unit training at US Air Support Operations Squadrons and Special Tactics Squadrons. The system is provided by QuantaDyn and is comprised of, in part, commercial off-the-shelf components provided by BSI (semi-automated forces and instructor operator station), Immersive Display Solutions (immersive dome), MetaVR (image generator and terrain), and ASTi (voice communication and sounds).

The AAJTS at I/ITSEC featured a 5-meter dome running 14 VRSG channels with additional VRSG channels for the instructor station, emulated military equipment, stealth viewer, and role player station.
  • AVT Simulation demonstrated in Booth #2741 its reconfigurable aerial refueling receiver simulator, which uses MetaVR visuals.

  • Pathfinder Systems demonstrated in Booth #129 its helicopter door gunnery simulator, which uses MetaVR visuals. The cabin for the display represents the front portion of a UH-60 cabin with a brand new Pathfinder Systems' window-mounted M240 machine gun. The cabin was adapted from the Non-rated Crew Member Trainer (NCMT) Pathfinder Systems developed as a prototype as a mobile trainer for the UH-60 and CH-47 aircrafts, interoperating with the Army's Aviation Combined Arms Tactical Trainer (AVCATT), to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of a non-rated crew member trainer that resulted in a full-flight simulator for gunnery, crew coordination and sling load training. Pathfinder's demo simulator used the same cabin, crew seats, forward view display, and modified weapon mount as the original trainer, updated with two VRSG channels and BSI's MACE.

  • Plexsys Interface Products demonstrated in Booth #2175 MetaVR visuals in Zedasoft's reconfigurable desktop simulator.

  • Sierra Nevada Corp. demonstrated in Booth #2715 MetaVR visuals in three of its aircraft sensor simulators.

  • ZedaSoft demonstrated in Booth #2075 VRSG as the sole visual system in all of its simulators, running MetaVR's terrain of Afghanistan and the southwest area of MetaVR's CONUS++ 3D terrain. Among ZedaSoft's simulators was the new Textron AirLand Scorpion™ Concept Demonstration Simulator. ZedaSoft developed this simulator to assist Textron AirLand in demonstrating capabilities of the Scorpion aircraft. The simulator demonstrates key ISR/Strike mission concepts for the aircraft mission systems, weapons, and sensors. VRSG provides the out-the-window visual scene and sensor views to simulate the L-3 WESCAM MX-15 and FLIR Systems EO/IR sensor payloads.

  MT2 Innovation 40.E

MetaVR Granted Innovation Award
by Military Training Technology

In September 2013, MetaVR won an Innovation award from Military Training Technology as part of their annual Top Simulation and Training Companies awards. MetaVR's award for Innovation marks the company's 11th year of winning a Top Simulation Company award from the publication. Military Training Technology presented the award at I/ITSEC 2013.

According Military Training Technology, its 2013 Top Simulation & Training Companies list features organizations from around the world that have made a significant impact on the military training industry across the spectrum of technologies and services.

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MetaVR, Virtual Reality Scene Generator, VRSG, Metadesic, First Person Simulator, 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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