Aviator Training with Augmented Reality

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Kevin Vizzarri, Vice President, AVT Simulation

Colonel Kevin Vizzarri retired after over 25 years of active duty assignments where he served as an Army Aviation Officer (AH-64D Apache Longbow) and a European Foreign Area Officer. He commanded Soldiers from Platoon to Brigade level in varying Army Aviation assignments at Ft. Hood, Texas, Illesheim, Germany and in deployed operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. He attended the resident Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, KS, and served as the Professor of Military Science at the University of Texas at Austin.

Mr. Vizzarri joined AVT Simulation in 2014 to lead the strategic business development and marketing initiatives, both domestically and internationally.    

Pilot Training with Augmented Reality

This presentation examines the future of Augmented Reality (AR) applied to pilot and crew training. Augmented reality is used in current US Army Aviation programs and we will examine its successes and its shortcomings as related to those programs. In one example Army Aviation Program, AR was initially fielded in the early 2000s and has been used in pilot and crew training for over 17 years. Helmet mounted displays (HMD) provide out the window (OTW) imagery to the pilot using AR and have been upgraded multiple times as the technology shortcomings are being fixed. Compact AR allows pilot mission training while flying the aircraft in a small footprint simulator. HMDs have long been desired by the simulation training industry for their capability to provide large Field of Regard (FOR) coverage rivaling a large projected dome. Challenges still exist for AR based training systems, for instance, realistic, dynamic visualization of other crew members, such as co-pilot or crew chief, still needs to be addressed to enable full crew training capabilities. Rapid advancement of AR HMDs and other AR elements are discussed for future improvements and cost reduction of AR and its reduced cost for future simulators. This topic will be wrapped up with what needs to happen next in the technology for advancement of AR solutions.