“Our COLBERT simulation tools support virtual reality and mixed reality scenarios for immersive JTAC training.” – Dr. Martin Voshell, COLBERT Principal Investigator

Currently, simulators used for Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) Close Air Support (CAS) training are difficult to manage and expensive to maintain. These challenges can result in ineffective training. To help the US military better cover the emerging training needs and decision-making demands facing JTACs collaborating with 5th gen pilots in contemporary CAS environments, we researched novel ways to promote the efficacy of a game-based simulation training. Our system had to support different geographic coverage areas, new and emerging mission scenarios, and realistic constructive entity behaviors.

Supporting JTAC Training with Augmented and Virtual Reality

Our Constructive Logic and Behavior Engine for Efficient and Responsive Training (COLBERT) is a blended augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) training solution. COLBERT provides realistic constructive entity behaviors built on industry standard live, virtual, constructive (LVC) protocols. These behaviors are easily incorporated into threat scenarios to provide pilot and JTAC trainees with realistic, operationally grounded training experiences.

COLBERT’s simulation-based tools can be integrated with existing LVC training solutions (such as GeMFIRE, our training solution that integrates with USAF simulation and training environments). Our scenario and behavior authoring components focus on specific workflows for JTAC and pilot trainees, as well as for non-technical instructors who keep the training scenarios current. COLBERT supports a variety of AR/VR devices, including the OCULUS Rift and Microsoft HoloLens, offering a wide spectrum of training fidelity.

COLBERT JTAC trainer visualizing the target through binoculars (left), and setting a DCAS 9-line to transmit to an F-35 (right)

Advancing New Performance-Based Training Technology

Our COLBERT system offers trainees engaging and cost-effective training across domains and simulation environments, including JTAC and next-gen multi-role pilot collaboration and communication. We are also extending COLBERT to support commercial simulation-based training and entertainment, such as video games.

This material is based upon work supported by the United States Air Force under Contract No. FA8650-15-C-6671. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Air Force.