Pilot mission replay in augmented reality with SALVe.
Effective training of combat aircraft pilots is crucial to mission success. The SALVe* mission debriefing system records flight data, then plays everything back as part of training sessions on the ground. The entire mission can be reconstructed — including 3D flight path, mapping data, synchronised audio/video feeds, tactical information and analysis of weapon delivery — helping pilots to hone their skills and improving performance and safety. A new prototype at the Paris Air Show 2017 using immersive techniques and augmented reality will make mission debriefing more flexible than ever.
For live operations and training exercises, Air Forces use mission debriefing tools to analyse flights from start to finish, learn lessons for subsequent missions and correct any mistakes.
The SALVe system from Thales is an advanced version of the SERPAM** mission debriefing system. Designed for installation on the most sophisticated combat aircraft (Rafale, Mirage, etc.) from 2020, it reconstructs key operational data from each flight in an extremely user-centric form:
Safety parameters (for example, compliance with range limits and flight ceilings, aircraft remained within the training area, etc.)
Tactical information (tactical movements of elements in the air battlespace)
Analysis of weapon delivery (based on recorded data and ‘what-if’ function)
Building on the success of the PC and tablet versions, a holographic version of the SALVe system is on display at the Paris Air Show. This exploratory prototype, presented to the French defence procurement agency (DGA) on 19 May, allows users to assess the many benefits of augmented reality for mission debriefing and pilot training.
Using a HoloLens head-mounted display from Microsoft, the user / pilot is immersed in the mission environment, reconstructed in the form of 3D holograms, creating a much richer experience than can be achieved on a 2D screen. The natural backdrop of the mission is displayed as a 3D virtual tabletop map. The mission is then reconstructed in the sky above this map, based on flight data from all aircraft in the squadron. Courtesy of the HoloLens headset, pilots can replay the mission as a whole (supervision mode) or individually (own-aircraft view). Interaction with the system is much more intuitive, and pilots can select collective or individual mode as needed.
This level of configurability significantly reduces the time needed for pilot training. It also allows rights management on a need-to-know basis, with elements displayed in accordance with each pilot’s level of clearance.
SALVe is a highly innovative, immersive yet cost-effective solution to the operational needs of Air Forces in the 21st century and is expected to prove highly successful in the decade ahead.
*SERPAM Advanced Level Version
**Système d’Exploitation et de Restitution des Paramètres de Mission