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ISR Operator Task Trainer

ISR Operator Task Trainer


Radiance Tech's OPT rackmount workstation with MVRsimulation visuals. (Photo courtesy of Radiance Technologies.)

Radiance Technologies uses MVRsimulation's VRSG, real-time immersive 3D terrain, and models in its intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) operator task trainer, which replicates the aircraft consoles and hand controller configuration to provide a realistic operator task trainer. Radiance's Operator Procedural Trainer (OPT) is used by a U.S. Army program of record to train airborne sensor operators basics tasks before they fly an actual sensor platform where they can then focus on advanced high-speed tactics training.

The Risk Management Framework (RMF)-accredited OPT provides a low-cost realistic training environment for individual and joint ISR operator task training on U.S. Army program of record platforms. Workstations simulate the geometry and ergonomics of the actual operator workstation on the aircraft, including the same tactical software and hardware such as a fully functional WESCAM MX-15 Hand Controller Unit (which simulates controlling the aircraft’s sensor ball camera for target detection), identical audio controller, keyboard, monitors, and switch panel assembly.

MAG Aerospace's training facility in Huntsville, AL, with three Radiance Tech's OPTs and a MARSS 350 fuselage emulator. (Photo courtesy of MAG Aerospace.)

The OPT uses VRSG’s physics-based IR to display a simulated EO/IR sensor view, and communicates with VRSG through CIGI for viewpoints and 2D overlays. A workstation consists of two computers: one runs VRSG and displays the simulated EO/IR sensor, and the other runs Radiance's airborne sensor operator instructor software. A simulation host links the computers to provide interaction between the simulated EO/IR sensor and the tactical software.

Students interact with a hundreds of unique VRSG scenarios that Radiance built with Scenario Editor (with MVRsimulation’s 3D terrain and dynamic and culture models) to train for different kinds of missions, such as a basic scan, squad route reconnaissance (“race track scan”), and pattern of life.

The scenarios, 15 to 30 minutes in duration, are coupled with audio tracks of noise and other mission-related sounds to enhance the real-time situational awareness of the exercise. In addition to selecting the training scenarios, Instructors can configure the training environment, add clouds and dust conditions, explosions and smoke from airstrikes, and control the flight path of the virtual aircraft. Students, while providing the eyes-in-the-sky overwatch, use voice IP and headsets to practice communication protocols critical during close air support between the pilot, command center, and ground personnel missions.

Radiance Tech's OPT workstation, with MVRsimulation visuals, and a laptop running MVRsimulation's Scenario Editor. (Photo courtesy of Radiance Technologies.)

MAG Aerospace uses three Radiance Technologies Operator Procedural Trainers (OPTs) simulators at their Huntsville, AL, training facility. The simulation setup consists of notebook computers and a Medium Altitude Reconnaissance Surveillance System (MARSS) 350 fuselage emulator. U.S. Army students train on the simulators to qualify as ISR operators. Training on the simulators has already led to a 50% reduction in time required to train a qualified ISR operator to assume an ISR role outside the U.S.

Inside MAG Aerospace's MARSS 350 fuselage emulator with Radiance Tech's ISR operator task trainer (OPT) with MVRsimulation visuals. (Photo courtesy of MAG Aerospace.)

MAG Aerospace chose the Radiance OPT as it provides realistic emulation of individual and joint ISR operator training, while using the actual L3 WESCAM MX-15 Hand Controller Unit, which simulates controlling the sensor ball camera on the MARSS 350 for target detection. With the OPT, MAG standardizes training with real-world relevance in a schoolhouse environment. Students train on the OPT for ISR missions such as recognizing patterns of life and assisting a JTAC in close air support missions.

Radiance is a small business prime contractor providing technical and analytical support across the geospatial intelligence discipline, offering complete solutions for GEOINT, MASINT and OSINT, and 24/7 C4ISR support.

Inside MAG Aerospace's MARSS 350 fuselage emulator with Radiance Tech's ISR operator task trainer (OPT) with MVRsimulation visuals. (Photo courtesy of MAG Aerospace.)