ENHANCING EFFECTIVENESS AND COST-EFFICIENCY OF INDIVIDUALIZED SHIPHANDLING TRAINING USING VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS
Holliday, Joseph K.
Darken, Rudolph P.
McDowell, Perry L.
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Shiphandling training is a costly and time-consuming process for the United States Navy, requiring a large space to house an artificial bridge, projectors, contracted staff to set up and control the environment, and a full complement of relatively equally skilled personnel to man various shiphandling roles. Additionally, Navy personnel require costly travel to these trainers unless such a training facility is located near their command. There is currently no standard training mechanism to handle such training on an individual basis or while underway. This thesis proposes that individualized shiphandling training can be conducted in an efficient and cost-effective manner using virtual reality technology. This thesis is limited to a working prototype of a virtual environment containing a ship that can be navigated by the user from the perspective of a conning officer. The user can wear a head-mounted display (HMD) that displays the bridge and the surrounding ocean environment and can provide voice commands to the virtual helmsman. The virtual helmsman will respond appropriately to these commands and steer the ship accordingly.
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