ARA’s Virtual Heroes Division Demos New Simulation Technologies at I/ITSEC 2019

ARA’s Virtual Heroes Division were pleased to demo their latest cutting-edge simulation software at the 2019 Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC). Conference-goers previewed ARA’s latest synthetic terrain capabilities and virtual reality (VR) technologies:

  • V-22 Landing Gear Part Task Trainer: The Part Task Trainer VR demo let I/ITSEC visitors replace the nose landing gear tire of a V-22 Osprey aircraft. Via a Valve Index VR headset, users experienced firsthand the assembly and disassembly process; visual indicators for all tools and parts helped identify what was needed to complete each step. ARA is excited to be developing this technology for Raytheon Intelligence Information and Services.
  • Virtual Tactical Assault Kit (VTAK): VTAK is a VR tool that ingests real-world geo-registered terrain data to provide interactive 3D environments for improved mission planning and rehearsal and better situational awareness. I/ITSEC visitors used an HTC VIVE VR headset to experience the system ARA is developing for the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). VTAK is the latest tool in the TAK family and is compatible with the entire TAK ecosystem, providing the same consistent look and feel for seamless real-time collaboration with other TAK platforms.
  • Synthetic Environment Creation Tools: I/ITSEC visitors got to see ARA’s latest synthetic environment creation tool developments. Through intuitive, thin-client interfaces, these tools provide conflation of disparate datasets, inclusion of high-detail insets, automated geo-referencing, and automated attribute assignment. ARA’s tools support common legacy formats along with modern data sources including standard GIS data sources, sensor data extraction (e.g., satellites, drones, photogrammetry), and crowd-sourced data (e.g., OpenStreetMap).
  • Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) Web Browser Viewer: ARA demonstrated a prototype 3D viewer running in a web browser. This novel viewer is capable of displaying location and health-state updates from simulated and live training participants in an interactive 3D environment. The best part: No additional plugins or downloads are required other than a modern web browser.

Other notable I/ITSEC happenings were as follows:

  • For the third year, ARA sponsored I/ITSEC’s Serious Games Showcase and Challenge, which recognizes excellence in serious game development. ARA VP Randy Brown presented the award for Best Student-Developed Game on Thursday, December 5, handing out new Oculus Quest VR kits to the winners.  
  • For the past 15 years, ARA has been innovating with the Unreal Engine. Conference-goers experienced numerous Unreal Engine demonstrations on the show floor, including Part Task Trainer and VTAK in the ARA booth.

I/ITSEC was held December 2 – 5, 2019 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.