CONTENT PREVIEW
C4iSR: Land

Airbus aims to boost SOF readiness with virtual sandbox

09 April 2019
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Airbus Defence and Space used the Special Operations Forces Innovation Network Seminar (SOFINS) exhibition in Camp de Souge on 2-4 April to launch the Holographic Tactical Sandbox (HTS).

The HTS employs augmented reality (AR) headsets and geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) mapping data to support commanders at all levels in mission preparation, briefing, and rehearsals.

The Holographic Tactical Sandbox is a virtual mission planning and preparation tool that can be networked to multiple users. (Andrew White)The Holographic Tactical Sandbox is a virtual mission planning and preparation tool that can be networked to multiple users. (Andrew White)

The system is centred on a 3D holographic map and can be programmed to provide an "accurate representation of the battlefield" using GEOINT data derived from multiple sources, including Airbus's own OneAtlas Data set, which provides customers with access to the company's satellite imagery.

Airbus officials told Jane's on 4 April that an unlimited number of users equipped with virtual reality (VR) headset technology - providing them with a bird's eye view of the battlefield - could network themselves into the HTS, even from remote locations.

"A remote capability allows operators to connect and take part in mission preparation by viewing and interacting on the same map with the same data from a remote location," the officials stated.

The HTS can also be networked to a separate battle management system (BMS) software. Airbus has already proved this concept with the integration of its own Fortion Tactical Command-and-Control (C2) software into the HTS, enabling the display of iconography.

"AR allows decision-makers to continue interacting with their environment and staff. Integrated into the chain of command, operators can view and create information which is then shared with higher decision-making levels," the company said in a statement.

"In addition, operators no longer need to process the data and information they receive, allowing them to focus on more value-added tasks," it added.

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