A networked virtual environment for shipboard training
McDowell, Perry Lewis.
King, Tony Edward
Zyda, Michael J.
Pratt, David R.
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Operational shipboard environments are characterized by uncertainty, short time constraints, stress, multiple sources of information and teamwork. However, most naval training ignores the fundamental three-dimensional and team natures of both the environment and human perception. The problem addressed by this research is to improve the quality and reduce the expense of training for naval personnel. Our belief is that this problem can be solved by training sailors in a Virtual Environment for Training (VET). Virtual environment trainers are ideally suited to address the above shortcomings and provide better and more intuitive training at a lower cost than current methods. However, such an environment has not been proven theoretically possible. Our approach is to create such an environment, which can then be evaluated for its training effectiveness. This thesis proves the feasibility of a virtual environment to solve the Navy's training problem. We built a real-time, distributed, interactive shipboard environment for training. It consists of a three-dimensional ship model, which consists of objects containing over 22,000 polygons; an application program, which can render this model with average frame rates of fifteen to twenty frames per second; and networking code, which can include a theoretically unlimited number of participants, although performance suffers with greater than ten participants. The participants can interact in the same virtual ship to combat several likely casualties, including a fuel oil leak, main space fire, and steam rupture.
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