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MVRsimulation News Issue 51

MVRsimulation News Issue 51, December 5, 2017

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

In this issue:

51.A – Multiple F-16 Simulation Programs using MetaVR VRSG Licenses
51.B – MetaVR Visuals in U.S. Navy's Ship-Based Fire Scout UAV Simulator
51.C – MetaVR and Business Partners at I/ITSEC


51.A  Multiple F-16 Simulation Programs using MetaVR VRSG Licenses

In 2017, 75 new Virtual Reality Scene Generator (VRSG) licenses were purchased for multiple F-16 programs: both for sites where VRSG is already used in training simulators, and for new sites.

  • AFRC F-16C aircrew training systems - The Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) recently acquired 20 new VRSG licenses for four new F-16C Multi Task Trainers (MTTs). Two AFRC F-16C Block 30 MTTs were installed this year at Homestead ARB, FL, and two at Fort Worth NAS JRB, TX, supplementing two previously delivered simulators for each site. These new systems then provide two, four ship AFRC F-16C Block 30 MTTs with VRSG at each site. Geospecific terrain with airfields of Homestead ARB and Fort Worth NAS JRB with custom runway elevation data to match FAA airfield runway model, runway lights, geospecific control tower, hangars and other geotypical buildings, signs, light poles, and geotypical volumetric trees were delivered as part of the delivery. The F-16C MTT is comprised of a cockpit, an instructor operator station, a 360° field-of-view (FOV) visual display and projection system, VRSG with MetaVR's high-fidelity geospecific terrain and extensive libraries of 3D content, an electronic warfare (EW) threat server, and a host computer/power equipment cabinet. Each F-16C MTT can be operated as a standalone training device or linked together to provide four-ship training within the facility or via ARCNET, DTOC or DMO networks for participating in distributed exercises. The purpose of the ARFC F-16C MTT program is to provide high-fidelity trainers configured to the latest F-16C Block 30 or Block 40 aircraft and capable of training AFRC F-16C pilots in mission qualification training, continuation training, and mission readiness training tasks.
  • AFRL F-16 simulators - The Air Force Research Laboratory's (AFRL) Warfighter Readiness Research Division 711th Human Performance Wing (711HPW/RHA) at Wright Patterson Air Force Base has long used VRSG in training research simulators. The 711HPW/RHA uses 157 VRSG licenses in multiple testbed programs both in the USA and in Europe, ranging from the MQ-1/MQ-9 Remotely Piloted Aircraft simulator (PRINCE) to the JTAC Training and Rehearsal System (JTAC TRS) and Joint Theater Air Ground Simulator System (JTAGSS). AFRL demonstrated the JTAGSS at I/ITSEC. [See item #51.C] Most recently, the 711HPW/RHA purchased and installed 15 VRSG licenses for F-16. These simulators are capable of networking with other AFRL simulators for joint missions, such as the ones described above. For several years, 26 VRSG licenses have been used in F-16 Experimental Deployable Tactics Trainer (X-DTT) simulators. The F-16 X-DTTs are deployable, medium fidelity, in- theater training systems for keeping the warfighter proficient between missions. The simulators are based at the Aviano Air Base, Italy.
  • Visual system upgrade for EPAF F-16 simulators - MetaVR was recently chosen to be the image generation supplier for the 309th SMXG European Participating Air Forces (EPAF) program to upgrade the visual systems of Belgian and Portuguese F-16 simulators. The upgrade calls for up to 40 MetaVR VRSG licenses, and two Terrain Tools licenses. In addition to supplying round-earth terrain of Europe and CONUS++, MetaVR will create and deliver five geospecific terrain insets (10 cm, 20 cm) of areas of interest in Belgium and model two geospecific Belgian airfields (Florennes Air Base, Kleine Brogel Air Base) and the Monte Real Air Base in Portugal. 
  • ANG F-16 simulators for new training center at Buckley Air Force Base - In spring 2018, Buckley Air Force Base, Aurora, CO, will unveil Air National Guard (ANG) F-16 four-ship training systems in its new training center. These simulators, which use 90 MetaVR VRSG licenses, will have 8-screen cockpit displays with native 4K (4096 x 2160) resolution, for an immersive field-of-view (FOV) that renders the out-the window (OTW) virtual environment with near 20/20 visual acuity. The systems have been relocated from the Vermont Air National Guard facilities at the Burlington International Airport, and are currently undergoing upgrading and integration prior to delivery to Buckley AFB. The F-16 training facility will be housed in the newly renovated Hangar 909. Once the new training facility opens, the simulators will be used train F-16 ANG pilots on F-16 Block 30 operations and exercises.

    MetaVR recently built virtual terrain of Buckley AFB, Aurora, and the dense urban environment of Greater Denver, CO. from 15 cm per pixel imagery of the airfield area and blended into 1 mpp underlying imagery of MetaVR's CONUS++ terrain. The terrain's overall elevation was built with interpolated NED 1/3 (10 m) and underlying CONUS++ DTED1. Airfield culture includes the runways, runway lights and signage, a geospecific control tower and 24 other geospecific buildings, fuel storage tanks, water towers, radars, geotypical volumetric trees, and light points. Geospecific culture models were created from publicly available photos and geolocated on the terrain. This terrain was built with the latest version of MetaVR Terrain Tools for Esri® ArcGIS®. Culture models were placed with Scenario Editor. Surrounding the modeled Buckley AFB is terrain of Greater Denver, CO, comprised of 439,379 geospecific buildings which were generated with Esri CityEngine®. The models were extruded and textured from OpenStreetMap (OSM) data, exported from CityEngine in FBX format, and then converted to MetaVR's model format. The terrain of the area, including the nearby Rocky Mountains, has over 4.5 million trees. For simulating night scenes, the terrain contains thousands of cultural light points of the airfield, Aurora, and Denver. MetaVR demonstrated this terrain at I/ITSEC. [See item #51.C]


51.B  MetaVR Visuals in U.S. Navy's Ship-Based Fire Scout UAV Simulator

The U.S. Navy at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD, (NAS PAX River) recently built and began operating multiple portable ship-based MQ-8B/C Fire Scout UAV simulators using the MetaVR Virtual Reality Scene Generator (VRSG) with 3D ocean states. The unmanned rotary-wing Fire Scout is designed to provide reconnaissance, situational awareness, and precision targeting support for the Navy's littoral combat ships (LCS).

The simulators, primarily used for ship-based operations, serve to both instruct and maintain proficiency of the Fire Scout by both the air vehicle operators (who fly the aircraft) and mission payload officers (who control the sensor payload). VRSG's out-the-window view is first processed by the Navy's sensor simulation, and then is used to provide both the electro-optical (EO) and infrared (IR) sensor modes on training systems. The FLIR EO/IR simulation enables operators to classify MetaVR's detailed 3D ship models from a great distance, with high-magnification narrow fields-of-view (FOVs), and under varying environmental conditions. In this 4-channel training system, VRSG renders a third-person (stealth) instructor view for situational awareness and a shipboard camera view that is attached to the automatic approach system.

The Navy's Fire Scout simulator is the latest in several UAS training systems that use MetaVR visuals. For well over a decade VRSG has been used in classroom, portable, and embedded simulators for the U.S. Army UAS trainers for the Shadow Crew Trainer, and Universal Ground Control Station (UGCS), and simulation training for the MQ-5B Hunter, RQ-7 Shadow, and MQ-1C Gray Eagle, and Aerosonde platforms. More recently, VRSG has been in use in the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) Reaper Extended Range (ER) Simulator, and the AFRL-developed Predator Research Integrated Network Combat Environment (PRINCE), a high fidelity, networkable MQ-1 and MQ-9 Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) simulator, which serves as an R&D tactical simulator for Predator pilots and sensor operators.  


  IITSEC 2017

51.C  MetaVR and Business Partners at I/ITSEC

MetaVR and its business partners exhibited products and technology in Booth #1249 at the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference and Trade Show (I/ITSEC), November 27-December 1, 2017.

MetaVR showcased its terrain and visualization products and technologies that support applications ranging from unmanned air system (UAS) operator and Joint Terminal Attack Control (JTAC) training, to high-speed fixed-wing cockpit simulators, to littoral and marine-based operations to individual/first-person ground-level urban operations. All terrain demos were rendered in the latest version of VRSG.

MetaVR demonstrated VRSG's newest visual fidelity features including shadows cast from static culture models, screen space ambient occlusion (SSAO), and several enhancements to 3D ocean simulation.

MetaVR demonstrated two new 3D terrain datasets, built in Metadesic round- earth format with the latest version of MetaVR Terrain Tools for Esri ArcGIS:

  • High-resolution geospecific Operation Blended Warrior (OBW) terrain dataset of CA, WA, and portions of NV and AZ, including modeled areas of Greater Seattle, Camp Pendleton with Kilo 2 and Combat Town 25 MOUT sites, and the Leschi Town combined arms collective training facility (CACTF) at Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM). MetaVR provided this terrain to participants in the OBW LVC event who ran MetaVR visuals in their simulators. Greater Seattle uses source imagery of 1 meter per-pixel resolution blended into and NED 1/3 (10 m) elevation data. The culture includes the popular Space Needle and 83,025 other buildings and 160,771 trees. Like the Denver building models described in item #51.A, the Seattle buildings (apart from the Space Needle model) were generated with Esri CityEngine. The models were extruded and textured from OpenStreetMap (OSM) data, exported from CityEngine in FBX format, and then converted to MetaVR's model format. The virtual Leschi Town training site of .25 square kilometers was built with 15 cm per-pixel resolution USGS imagery blended with 1 meter per-pixel NAIP imagery surrounding the area up to Seattle. Elevation source is USGS 1 meter LIDAR blended with USGS NED 1/3 (10 meter). The virtual facility features 52 geospecific building models with interiors, multiple levels, and articulated windows and doors. These models, together with over 100 models of other cultural elements, were created from publicly available photos and videos and geolocated on the terrain footprints. Over 27,500 tree and vegetation models round out the scene.
  • High-resolution geospecific virtual Buckley Air Force Base and the dense urban environment of Greater Denver, CO. [See the description at item #51.A.] This terrain was also on display at the Immersive Display Solutions' (IDSI's) booth #1273 on the latest Sony Crystal LED (CLED) technology, with high contrast black levels with a contrast ratio of more than 1,000,000:1 in a scalable 4.8 meter x 1.8 meter curved configuration.

MetaVR also demonstrated VRSG's 3D ocean simulation, in scenarios featuring many naval models from our military model library of 135 naval vessels on geospecific terrain/ocean body of the Strait of Hormuz and the littoral area of the port city of Kismayo, Somalia. Many of the vessels have deck details modeled to first-person level.

Other demonstrations in the booth included:

  • JTAC training. MetaVR and Battlespace Simulations' (BSI's) JTAC desktop simulation system (accredited by JFS ESC and STANAG) was set up for conducting close-air-support training exercises with Close Air Solutions, instructors with relevant domain knowledge. In addition to providing the out-the-window views and UAS HUDs, VRSG provides the simulated thermal views, simulated UAS video feed on the JTAC's ROVER device, and emulated military equipment views. The training scenario takes place on MetaVR's geospecific Kismayo 3D terrain and tests JTAC, UAS, and aircrew in a complex mission environment with 5-Line, 9-Line, and Call-for-Fire interfaces generated from BSI's Modern Air Combat Environment (MACE) software. The simulator's 4 meter 220° curved display was provided by IDSI.
  • High-resolution geospecific 3D terrain of the Somalia port city of Kismayo. A relevant geospecific terrain for coordinated UAS and JTAC close-air-support training, this 3D terrain is populated with hundreds of geolocated, photo-specific culture models built from ground-level photographs taken on the streets of Kismayo. Demo scenarios include amphibious and close-air-support missions. The amphibious scenario highlights VRSG's 3D ocean simulation and MetaVR's growing collection of U.S. naval models.
  • High-resolution geospecific 3D terrain of a mountainous region in Kabul province, Afghanistan. The modeled village of Khairabad includes 650 custom-built 3D structures that match footprints on the source imagery. Many structures have multiple damage states, demonstrated in scenarios that feature close-air-support missions with UAS overwatch and strikes, and pattern of life activity. These scenarios contain many of MetaVR's newest military ground vehicles.
  • High-resolution geospecific 3D terrain and modeled airfields in Continental US plus Alaska and Hawaii (CONUS++). The CONUS++ demos included flythrough sequences on 27 modeled airports and airfields, with high-resolution imagery and geospecific and geotypical cultural content.
  • SUAS for collecting sub-inch geospecific imagery for real-time 3D terrain. The MetaVRC, MetaVR's SUAS for imagery data collection, was on display. Built for autonomous aerial surveying, the MetaVRC captures 2 cm per-pixel resolution images that can be used with accurate elevation data to compile terrain at 2 cm resolution. The resulting synthetic environment can then be rendered in VRSG. Swift Radioplanes (SPR), the creators of the MetaVRC, demonstrated features of the SUAS and two examples of 2 cm per-pixel resolution terrain that MetaVR built from the 2 cm imagery the SUAS collected at two target ranges at NAS Fallon and at the Prospect Square area of Yuma Proving Ground. SPR operated the aircraft at both sites.

All terrain was built in MetaVR's round-earth Metadesic format with MetaVR Terrain Tools for Esri ArcGIS. All of MetaVR's real-time demos were created with VRSG Scenario Editor, using substantial cultural feature, character, and land, sea, and air vehicle assets, and 3D character animations from MetaVR's 3D content and animation libraries of over 7,000 models and over 1,400 animations.

Also in the booth, BSI demonstrated their latest version of MACE, a computer generated forces (CGF)/semi-automated forces (SAF) software application, which uses VRSG for the 3D visuals and is capable of simulating an air, ground, naval and electronic warfare battlespace. In addition BSI demonstrated Viper, a low-cost PC-based DIS radio, and DIScord, a DIS recorder used for after action review.

In addition to conducting demos of close-air-support training, Close Air Solutions demonstrated their new Hyper Real Immersion (HRI), a project developed using MetaVR 3D visualization technology to deliver immersive, outdoor mixed reality training. The HRI 360-VideoSphere brings the advantages of simulation into the live environment by showing a 360-degree perspective from a given location combined with the HTC Vive tracking system with blended 3D entities and effects rendered in real-time by VRSG. Photorealistic synthetic entities including buildings, vehicles and personnel, are controlled using BSI MACE and rendered in VRSG on top of a highly accurate synthetic representation of the physical terrain. The synthetic and physical scenes are combined to provide a real-time mixed reality experience.

During the week-long "Operation Blended Warrior" (OBW) LVC event at I/ITSEC, the 505 Command and Control Wing and TRU Simulation + Training used VRSG and MetaVR's terrain of Washington State (to include Seattle and Leschi Town as described above) and portions of CA, AZ, and NV (to include MetaVR's virtual Camp Pendleton) in their respective simulators. The 505 Command and Control Wing (booth #529) ran VRSG in the JTAC-TACP/Operational Simulation Suite (J-T/OSS) v2.0 Desktop(J-T/OSS) trainer TRU Simulation + Training (booth #1700) ran VRSG in the V-280 cockpit simulator for out-the-window and sensor views.

Elsewhere, VRSG was used in the following demos at I/ITSEC:

  • The 505 Command and Control Wing demonstrated VRSG in booth #529 in the JTAC-TACP/Operational Simulation Suite (J-T/OSS) v2.0 Desktop(J-T/OSS) trainer during both OBW and non-OBW demonstrations. The J-T/OSS demonstrated Types 1, 2, and 3 control, terminal guidance operations using a ground based laser system, as well as coordination with a wide range of virtual and constructive assets.
  • AFRL's Warfighter Readiness Division demonstrated VRSG in booth #1533 in its Joint Theater Air Ground Simulator System (JTAGSS), The JTAGSS is a full-mission profile Air Support Operations Center (ASOC) simulator that supports the development of key knowledge, skills, and experiences across nine positions.
  • Air Force Agency for Modeling and Simulation (AFAMS) booth #349 conducted a JSIL's MUSE/AFSERS demo with VRSG simulating UAS streaming output.
  • Air National Guard booth #1469 demonstrated VRSG in ZedaSoft's F-16 cockpit simulator and in a prototype of a new ANG security forces Combat Operational Procedures Simulator (COPS).
  • Immersive Display Solutions (IDSI) demonstrated VRSG in booth #1273 on the latest Sony Crystal LED (CLED) technology, which features exceptional black levels and contrast in a scalable 4.8 meter x 1.8 meter curved configuration. The VRSG demo on this display rendered MetaVR's new 3D terrain of Buckley AFB and Greater Denver [see item #51.B]. IDSI also had VRSG running on its VisionStation 2 RP/Pilot Station.
  • Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) demonstrated VRSG in its Next Generation Threat System (NGTS) in booth #339.
  • QuantaDyn, which uses MetaVR visuals in the JTC TRS, MMCT, and AAJTS, demonstrated VRSG in a prototype of a new ANG security forces Combat Operational Procedures Simulator (COPS) in booth #807.
  • US Air Force Training Systems Product Group demonstrated VRSG in both JTAGSS and J-T/OSS in booth #1533.
  • TRU Simulation + Training demonstrated in booth #1700 its V-280 cockpit simulator with VRSG, during both OBW and non-OBW demonstrations.
  • Zedasoft demonstrated VRSG version 6.2 in three simulators in booth #1873: its partial dome F-16 Cockpit Simulator, Reconfigurable Desktop System (RDS) simulator, and the Mockingbird reconfigurable UAV/RPA simulator with EO/IR and SAR payloads.


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