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One phone call, three months, $300,000.That's all it took for Lockheed Martin to build a training simulator for the U.S. Navy.Let's start at the beginning. The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has a division called TechSolutions. Basically, any sailor or Marine can submit a request for a quick fix on any problem to the ONR web site.In this case, a call came in from an instructor of helicopter control officer training in San Diego. The video he was using to teach his class about launching a helo off a ship's deck was all wrong -- it had to run from start to finish (no pauses allowed in the middle to provide additional instruction), many of the hand signals were wrong, the helicopter and the ship were wrong ... the instructor said he spent more time telling his students what was wrong with the video than how to launch the aircraft.Enter Lockheed Martin. The company used its Infantry Immersive Trainer as a baseline for a helicopter launch simulator. Three months later, and for a shockingly conservative $300,000, the Navy had its simulator.(Images courtesty of Lockheed Martin)Lockheed's leading project engineer spent lots of time talking to the instructor in San Diego, making sure the hand signals and general procedure were exactly right. The new simulator now allows the instructor to go down the checklist, pausing where necessary, re-running certain steps as needed and teach to a simulated scenario that looks exactly like what the new helicopter control officer will see when he or she gets to their assigned ship.Lockheed's project engineer told me the Infantry Immersive Trainer works in a linear progression to control the animation and reactions of the characters on the screen. Lockheed used that code, put it into a ship environment and was able to deploy it in no time.
ar99, USNavy, ONR
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