Implementation of an Augmented Reality System for Training Dismounted Warfighters

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R. Kumar, S. Samarasekera, A. Chaudhry, Z. Zhu, H. Chiu, T. Oskiper, R. Villamil, V. Branzoi, R. Hadsell, E. R. Pursel, F. Deam, P. Garrity, “Implementation of An Augmented Reality System for Training Dismounted Warfighters”, Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (I/ITSEC), 2012


There is a need within the military to enhance its training capability to provide more realistic and timely training, but without incurring excessive costs in time and infrastructure. This is especially true in preparing for urban combat. Unfortunately the creation of facility based training centers that provide sufficient realism is time consuming and costly. Many supporting actors are needed to provide opponent forces and civilians. Elaborate infrastructure is needed to create a range of training scenarios, and record and review training sessions. In this paper we describe the technical methods and experimental results on building an Augmented Reality Training system for training dismounts doing maneuver operations that addresses the above shortcomings. The augmented reality system uses computer graphics and special head mounted displays to insert virtual actors and objects into the scene as viewed by each trainee wearing augmented reality eyewear. The virtual actors respond in realistic ways to actions of the Warfighters, taking cover, firing back, or milling as crowds.

Perhaps most importantly, the system is designed to be infrastructure free. The primary hardware needed to implement augmented reality is worn by the individual trainees. The system worn by a trainee includes helmet mounted sensors, see through eye-wear, and a compact computer in his backpack. The augmented reality system tracks the actions, locations and head and weapon poses of each trainee in detail so the system can appropriately position virtual objects in his field of view. Synthetic actors, objects and effects are rendered by a game engine on the eyewear display. Stereo based 3D reasoning is used to occlude all or parts of synthetic entities obscured by real world three dimensional structures based on the location of the synthetic. We present implementation details for each of the modules and experimental results for both day time and night time operations.

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