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Micro-UAV and SUGV Training in an Urban Environment

MetaVR™ has developed high-resolution 3D urban terrain and vehicle models needed to create a virtual testbed for Small Unit Level Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Systems or SUGV systems for proposed vehicle design evaluation.


A MetaVR VRSG real-time scene within the port of MetaVR's Kismayo, Somalia virtual terrain. The Wasp III Battlefield Air Targeting Micro Air Vehicle (BATMAV) is one of several micro-UAVs in MetaVR's library of military aircraft models.

Vendors that produce highly mobile and deployable UAV systems (or Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)) to support company- and platoon-level operations that are day/night ISR-capable can test their designs and operation tactics using a MetaVR urban terrain database and vehicle model library of current and future vehicle designs (and provide their own).

MetaVR's Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) 3D model.   MetaVR's Micro Air Vehicle Class I RQ-16A 3D model. Wire-frame and textured images of MetaVR's Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) Class I RQ-16A 3D model. This model is part of the 3D content libraries that are delivered with VRSG.

A US Government military command would distribute this virtual test environment in advance of candidate evaluations such that each vendor could incorporate and test their computer or hardware in the loop models of their UAV subsystems prior to on site experiments at the actual MOUT facility: air vehicle, launcher, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) payload, data link(s), and operator control unit.


A MetaVR VRSG real-time scene within the high-resolution modeled village on MetaVR's Afghanistan virtual terrain. The Switchblade UAV, character entities, and cultural content are from MetaVR's 3D content libraries that are delivered with VRSG.

Potential systems could range from pocket-sized, backpack-portable, to single High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) transportable UAVs. The 3D terrain would be available in industry-standard formats with no redistribution fees; vendors would use the Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) networking technology to support multiple and concurrent live and constructive participant simulations.

The Small Unit Level Unmanned Aerial Systems (SUAS) testbed would provide for testing many different permutations of UAV configurations and launch techniques. Ultimately vendor vehicle computer models would be incorporated into a base line standard Government simulation for further testing and eventually as part of a UAV simulation or SUGV training infrastructure. This network-centered collective simulation environment would provide for combined operations experiments and training for individual unit tactics using proposed or fielded UAV designs. Unit level tasks such as the Forward Observer (FO), Close Air Support (CAS) or JTAC roles in conjunction with a call for artillary fire missions can be simulated in this urban environment.  

A real-time MetaVR VRSG scene featuring an SUGV entity entering the interior of a high-resolution building model on a MetaVR 3D terrain database. A real-time VRSG scene featuring an SUGV entity entering the interior of a high-resolution building model on a MetaVR 3D terrain database. The models are from MetaVR's 3D content libraries.

Enabling soldiers to fight in simulated dense urban environments with advanced technology place greater challenges on system developers and training environments than was previously experienced in the modeling and simulation industry. With MetaVR simulation technology, you can prototype and develop training systems for new technology and then test the systems in a simulated urban environment that very closely matches reality.

A Maveric Micro-UAV entity observes activity along a simulated convoy route on MetaVR's Afghanistan terrain.
A Maveric Micro-UAV entity observes activity along a simulated convoy route on MetaVR's Afghanistan terrain. All models in the scene are part of the 3D model entity libraries delivered with VRSG.

Simulating realistic MOUT sites requires the image generator to manage high polygon counts while processing high-resolution photorealistic imagery of the terrain and photorealistic buildings developed from CAD drawings in real-time (60 Hz). Terrain elevation and building geometry must precisely match the real urban environment to provide valid experimental data so that the simulation tells the user an accurate story of how the system would actually behave in the real world.

Real-time rendering in MetaVR Virtual Reality Scene Generator (VRSG) of a scene featuring soldiers and an XM1216 SUGV entity at the entrance of a structure on the virtual MOUT site on MetaVR's Aberdeen Test Center (ATC) virtual terrain. SUGVs provide reconnaissance that limits soldiers' exposure to danger.
Real-time MetaVR VRSG scene with XM1216 SUGV entity on MetaVR's ATC terrain database.
Click to view an enlarged version of the image.

With MetaVR technology you can simulate future proposed urban warfare capabilities such as:

  • Small UAVs that can hover outside windows.
  • UAVs that can perch as a surveillance system.
  • Backpack-sized UAV systems that are easy to use for military personnel to operate.
  • Micro-UAV and unmanned ground vehicle joint collaboration.

MAV providing reconnaissance.
A MAV has entered through a doorway in advance of the infantry to provide reconnaissance that limits a soldier's exposure to danger.

The individual combatants are simulated by MetaVR's First Person Simulator™ application. The UAV (or UAS) is typically simulated by systems such as the MUSE.

MetaVR VRSG can simulate the camera or sensor views of what the UAV prototype would display to an operator, as shown below. The sensor views in VRSG can be configured to match the capabilities of a vendor's UAV.

  
Examples of different sensors that VRSG can model.

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