Northrop Grumman Australia recently provided a ‘virtual training reality’ proof-of-concept demonstration that hooked up two full-sized flight simulators in Australia and a virtual-reality test lab in Florida.
CAPTION: A real-life RAAF KC-30A flight crew prepares to take virtual fuel from a virtual KC-30A fuel boom, which is actually being operated by a real-life fuel-boom operator somewhere else in the world. Northrop Grumman’s distributed network environment will eventually allow real-life air crews flying any aircraft-type simulator anywhere in the real world to interact with other aircraft crews in a virtual world. Kind of like a global virtual game simulator, but with ‘real’ full-motion aircraft simulators and real air crews.
A company spokesman said the proof-of-concept demonstration providing advanced, realistic, virtual training at multiple sites on opposite sides of the globe, simultaneously.
“It successfully demonstrated distributed simulation capability by connecting a KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport simulator with a C-17A Globemaster III simulator at RAAF Base Amberley and the Northrop Grumman test laboratory in Orlando.
“The dedicated Northrop Grumman communications integration and test environment allowed for close formation maneuvers as well as communications between aircraft crews in the simulators and boom operators across the world.
“The advanced integration and test environment enabled the introduction of simulated, computer-generated elements that crews could observe and interact with.”
Chief executive Northrop Grumman Australia Ian Irving said that in times of increased operational tempo and stretched resources, the ability to connect and execute distributed missions virtually across multiple sites across the globe was a real force-multiplying capability.
“As a world leader in the provision of distributed networks through its DMON system to the US Air Force, Northrop Grumman looks forward to the potential development of a persistent capability for the Australian Defence Force,” Mr Irving said.
This recent industry-funded proof-of-concept demonstration was conducted in conjunction CAE and L-3 Communications..
The companies hope the RAAF was impressed enough to ‘buy in’ to a wider project.