Lockheed; S. Samarasekera; K. Kaign; T. Oskiper; R. Kumar; I/ITSEC 2022, National Training and Simulation Association, Orlando, FL 11/28/22 – 12/2/22
Marine Fire Support Teams (FiSTs) consist of four or five Marines who direct aircraft, artillery, mortar, and naval fire in support of friendly troops on the ground. Traditional FiST training has been hindered by high costs and a limited availability of range time and associated supporting arms. Because of this, practicing together in the field is rare. To address this issue and provide FiSTs with the “sets and reps” required to develop and maintain proficiency, the Office of Naval Research 3D Warfighter Augmented Reality (3D WAR) program is developing an affordable augmented reality (AR) field simulator. AR is a technology that inserts computer-generated virtual objects in the user’s real-world environment. The 3D WAR Marine Augmented Reality Team Trainer (MARTT) system allows for FiSTs in a field exercise to train with virtual entities and battlefield effects in their actual environment. Users wear an occlusive head-mounted display (HMD) which allows them to see virtual objects inserted over a camera feed of the real-world. Each FiST member wearing a MARTT system can see the same virtual scene from their own perspective, allowing for true team training.
Since 2019, MARTT demonstration and feedback events have been conducted at schoolhouses and training events throughout the Marine Corps. More recently, as the technology has matured, more in-depth assessments and studies have been conducted on the technology’s effectiveness. In this paper, we present the results of multiple evaluations of MARTT systems in training Marine FiSTs. Data collected includes assessments on the system’s usability, immersion, and overall training utility. In particular, the paper will focus on the results from a three-month assessment of the technology by the Marine Detachment at the Fort Sill Field Artillery School.