A Chromakey augmented virtual environment for deployable training
Darken, Rudolph P.
Sullivan, Joseph A.
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In our attempts to construct virtual environments that simulate certain aspects of the real world, several significant technical shortfalls have limited our ability to elicit human behavior in the VE that approximates human behavior in the real world. Among these shortfalls are display issues and the insertion of the trainee in the training environment. Observable differences between the training environment and the real environment can severely limit the ability to induce stress and consequently to train complex tasks. These issues are exacerbated is a deployed setting where footprint matters most. Our training problem involves skilled helicopter pilots and the ability to train at sea. The objective is to construct a training system suuitable for deployed use that is low cost, small footprint, and that can be shown to have quantitative value as a training device. This paper will describe a mixed reality appended trainer solution that uses a Chromakey technique to mix the real environment inside the cockpit with the simulated environment outside the cockpit. This apparatus allies the near-field environment, including cockpit displays, maps and constrol, to "pass though" while the view out the window is replaced with a virtual simulation. Our prototype has been integrated with JSAF and interoperates with other simulators under development in our program. It will then describe an initial experiment that destermined if experienced helicopter pilots could effectively navigate using the system and if their performance was reasonably similar to their performance in an actual helicopter. Results indicate that performance in the trainer does approximate actual performance within real world threshold values and that techniques for overland navigation used in actual flight also apply directly to navigation using the simulator. Future work includes adding NVG capabilities and further experimentation to determine the extent of training transfer possible with the system.
Best Paper award.
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