The Vigilant Spirit software is a government-owned application created by AFRL, that allows for command and control of multiple heterogeneous RPAS. (Photo courtesy of the 558th Flying Training Squadron)
RPAS simulators used for the Undergraduate Remote Piloted Aircraft Training Ground Based Training Systems program use Vigilant Spirit software and VRSG. (Photo courtesy of the 558th Flying Training Squadron)
Vigilant Spirit and VRSG
The 558th Flying Training Squadron (558 FTS) at Joint Base San Antonio Randolph uses 52 RPAS simulators for the Undergraduate Remote Piloted Aircraft Training Ground Based Training Systems program. The simulators use the Vigilant Sprit software, which is a government-owned application created by Air Force Research Labs that allows for command and control of multiple heterogeneous RPAS. Vigilant Spirit has been incorporated as part of a training system called SIERA (Simulator Instructor Environment for Remote Piloted Aircraft Aircrew) for Air Education and Training Command. Support, maintenance, and ongoing development is provided by the 555th Software Engineering Squadron (555 SWES) at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma.
Each RPAS simulator consists of a pilot station and a sensor operator station. Integrated with MVRsimulation’s Virtual Reality Scene Generator (VRSG) as its image generator. The simulators are designed to train RPAS fundamentals such as aircraft control, mission execution, sensor operation, and target acquisition/tracking.
Undergraduate pilots on the Remote Piloted Aircraft career track will train on SIERA following graduation from basic flight school. The initial phase of the training will involve classroom instruction using a desktop version running SIERA. The classroom courses will allow up to 18 crews to receive instruction at once. 558 FTS is taking delivery of two full classrooms containing 18 simulators each, allowing for the simultaneous instruction of 72 students.
After passing the classroom training session on the desktop systems, students will begin training on the higher fidelity control station version of the simulator. The notional control station is reminiscent of an MQ-9 ground control station and hosts a pilot and a sensor operator. Sixteen control stations are part of this delivery, allowing for the simultaneous instruction of 32 students at the advanced level of the course.
Due to its multi viewport licensing, 26 VRSG systems are providing visuals for all 52 simulators. A single VRSG provides the scene generation needs for two RPAS platforms, each consisting of a forward looking EO/IR camera and down-facing articulating sensor camera.
The 558th Flying Training Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio Randolph has taken delivery of 52 remote piloted aircraft simulators for the Undergraduate Remote Piloted Aircraft Training Ground Based Training Systems program. (Photo courtesy of the 558th Flying Training Squadron)