To develop a Situational Awareness (SA) tool for ships’ Officer of the Watch (OOW) training simulation technology, SEA uses Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR).
The AR technology, to be unveiled at DSEI (12th-15th September 2017, ExCeL, London), uses a Microsoft Hololens to present a single fused picture of all the relevant information needed by the OOW. It takes data feeds from sources, such as radar and a Warship Electronic Chart Display and Information System (WECDIS) to assist the OOW manage the vessel's course in a crowded seaway.
Command and control is enhanced during night time or periods of poor visibility, said the company, while also providing data for points of interest. The system highlights fixed and dynamic hazards, identifies near horizon and over-the-horizon vessels using the ship Automatic Identification System (AIS). It provides track information, and proposes a recommended course for avoiding action.
Displayed information can be filtered dependent upon the current task. Other benefits of the live augmented display include greater awareness of points of interest, surveillance of friendly forces, better threat anticipation, more effective use of intelligence data and better awareness of effecting arcs. OOWs can speed up decision making to improve their force effectiveness by fusing the relevant data.
The technology has been developed from SEA’s DECKsim products used by the Royal Navy, foreign navies and civil operators for training Flight Deck Officers. It can also be used for training and is an SA tool that can be applied to both naval and commercial vessels.
“AR is a very effective way to manage information workload of the OOW, instead of displaying all information. AR is used to display only the necessary real time information, the make-up of which is fully configurable and can originate from various sources," explained Business Development Executive, Andy McGowan.
The company believes that the AR management tool could be used in land applications, in particular by vehicle commanders, who would benefit from AR viewing as opposed to continual reference to battlefield management screens.
SEA will be showcasing the AR technology at DSEI, using a 'virtual' out of the window view, emulated display screens and a Hololens.