Helicopter terrain navigation training using a wide field of view desktop virtual environment
Sullivan, Joseph A.
Darken, Rudolph P.
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Helicopter terrain navigation is a unique task; training for this task presents unique challenges. Current training methods rely on dated technology and inadequately prepare pilots for real world missions. Improved training specifically tailored to address the unique needs of the helicopter community that capitalizes on recent improvements in desktop virtual environment (VE) technology could substantially improve the training process and reduce training costs. Based on the input of subject matter experts in current helicopter terrain navigation training techniques and VE technology, such a system was developed and tested on student pilots performing real world tasks. A desktop VE that presented a simple to control and learn, interactive fly though of a terrain model was used to augment conventional training at Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron Ten (HS-1O). Results indicate that flight time for students that received VE training was more productive than for students that received conventional training. This work justifies the next logical step; fielding a system on a long term basis as a squadron asset. This system would provide improved training for the helicopter community and an invaluable source of research data for the Naval Postgraduate School.
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