Army designers use 3-D, virtual reality software to train warfighters

U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center Military Deputy Col. Debra Daniels tries out the virtual reality head-mounted display. (U.S. Army photo)

U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center Military Deputy Col. Debra Daniels tries out the virtual reality head-mounted display. (U.S. Army photo)

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Sept. 23, 2015) — Army researchers at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center are using 3-D software solutions to supplement more traditional training and simulate real-life scenarios. More experience-driven learning may help students increase the retention of knowledge, official said.

One example of a new training being developed is for the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Agency. The training is an interactive program for soldiers learning to use a complex piece of detection equipment called the Husky Mounted Detection System, or HMDS. The kit attaches to the Husky vehicle and has four ground penetrating radar panels. The panels detect metallic and nonmetallic explosive hazards, pressure plates and anti-tank mines.

Joseph L. Williams, a computer scientist and lead software developer for the center’ Conceptual Modeling and Animation Branch, said the customer recognized the need for additional capabilities to supplement the already existing classroom training and technical manuals.

The software serves as a refresher for how to use the equipment out in the field.

“The program provides users with the steps they need to go through to operate the HMDS. It allows users to get practice with each of the different functions, become familiar with the various threat types, and then engage with the interactive training,” Williams said.

The next iteration of the software currently in development will allow the vehicle to be controlled in a 3-D environment by the user.

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