Charles River Analytics Inc., developer of intelligent systems solutions, has received funding from the US Army to create an advanced research prototype of Virtual Environment Collaboration Tools for Operational Readiness (VECTOR) augmented and virtual reality (XR) system.
VECTOR uses synchronized virtual collaboration environments so that dispersed Mission Command personnel can collaboratively plan, rehearse, and execute missions. VECTOR solves several problems faced by the US Army—Mission Command tasks are increasingly more difficult as global threats become more distributed, agile, and technologically advanced. Traditional and stationary command posts often suffer from degraded connectivity that limits communication and collaboration with distributed Mission Command personnel.
“Mission Commands are running into major issues when they try to plan complicated maneuvers without a shared workspace,” said Stephanie Kane, Principal Scientist and Director of Charles River Analytics’ Human Centered Intelligence Division. “VECTOR provides a cutting-edge environment where multiple officers can collaborate efficiently from different locations.”
Recently, Jessica Voge, a Human Factors Scientist in Charles River Analytics’ Human-Centered Intelligence Division, led a demonstration and evaluation of VECTOR with the US Mission Command Battle Lab (MBCL). Users felt positively about VECTOR and were able to work with all of its features, even with purely remote instruction. Participants reported that VECTOR would be helpful in Mission Command and provided insights that the team at Charles River Analytics will use to polish the prototype’s features.
Commanders and Soldiers can join VECTOR’s virtual environments through XR, mobile, and desktop applications. Once connected to a session, personnel can access a suite of collaboration tools that center on a 3D geospatial battlefield common operating picture.
The VECTOR system advances our deep understanding of virtual collaboration and data visualization in mixed reality. VECTOR augments Commanders’ situational understanding, allowing them to support Mission Command across networks and co-locations.
This material is based upon work supported by the Army Futures Command (AFC), US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC), Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C5ISR), Command, Power and Integration (CP & I), under Contract No. W56KGU-19-C-0059. 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 Army Futures Command (AFC), US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC), Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Combat Systems, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C5ISR), Communication, Power & Integration (CP & I), US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC).