Prototype development of low-cost, augmented reality trainer for crew service weapons
Conger, Nathan W.
KoÌ lsch, Mathias
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A significant emerging threat to coalition forces in littoral regions is from small craft such as jet skis, fast patrol boats, and speedboats. These craft, when armed, are categorized as Fast Inshore Attack Craft (FIAC), and their arsenal can contain an array of weapons to include suicide bombs, crew-served weapons, anti-tank or ship missiles, and torpedoes. While these craft often have crude weapon technologies, they use an asymmetric tactic of large numbers of small, cheap, poorly armed and armored units to overwhelm coalition defenses. Training on crew-served weapons on coalition ships has not advanced to meet this new threat. The current training methods do not satisfactorily train the following skills: Rules of engagement (ROE), marksmanship against highly maneuverable targets, threat prioritization, target designation, field of fire coordination, coordinated arms effects, or watch station to CIC communications. The creation of a prototype Augmented Reality Virtual At Sea Trainer (AR-VAST) shows that emerging augmented reality technologies can overcome limitations of traditional training methods. A fully developed AR-VAST system would be a deployable technology solution that uses in-place weapon systems as trainers in real-world environments with simulated enemy targets. While the AR-VAST architecture can be expanded to allow for training and coordination with multiple weapon operators, phone talkers, and bridge teams for maximum training effectiveness, the current prototype addresses the primary issue of identification and marksmanship.
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