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MVR showcases ‘sand table' to see training events from multiple viewpoints

MVRsimulation (MVR) has developed a mixed reality (MR) sand table for training and mission rehearsal and showcased it at the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) 2023 in Orlando in November.

The sand table enables users to collaborate interactively in a shared MR setting, viewing the virtual world on a three-dimensional (3D) visualised “table” in MVR's Virtual Reality Scene Generator (VRSG) environment, Garth Smith, president and co-founder of MVR, told Janes .

Each user is equipped with a Varjo MR head-mounted display (HMD) that enables the wearer to explore the virtual environment while continuing to interact with real-world objects, such as emulated military equipment. The Varjo HMD eye tracking capability provides a coloured frustum (‘beam') in the virtual world showing the user's direction of view. This is particularly useful for instructors who can see whether a student is (or was in an after-action review [AAR]) looking at the correct entity or location at any particular moment.

To control their view of the sand table and their interaction, each user has a Valve Index Controller, enabling them to zoom in or out for close-up evaluation of a single entity, or to gain a top-down view of the entire battlefield. The controllers also provide a virtual pointer that can be used to point to specific elements in mission planning or AAR, and direct other participants' attention to a location or entity.

At I/ITSEC 2023 the sand table was exhibited linked to MVR's Deployable Joint Fires Trainer (DJFT) and Part Task Mission Trainer (PTMT) to show its use in joint terminal attack controller (JTAC), close air support (CAS), and forward observer (FO) training. This demonstrated mission planning and rehearsal for a JTAC-controlled CAS mission, followed by the execution of the mission and subsequent AAR, all conducted in the VRSG environment.

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