Search Menu
Photonics Media Photonics Marketplace Photonics Spectra BioPhotonics Vision Spectra Photonics Showcase Photonics ProdSpec Photonics Handbook

Sailors Use Augmented Reality to Train for Combat

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email
ARLINGTON, Va., July 26, 2019 — An augmented reality (AR) environment is being tested as a training tool for sailors and marines who must train and remain proficient while at sea. The Tactically Reconfigurable Artificial Combat Enhanced Reality (TRACER) system consists of a virtual-reality (VR) headset, a backpack processor, a simulated weapon designed to deliver realistic recoil, and a software package that creates different simulation scenarios for security personnel to experience. TRACER leverages software developed by Magic Leap Horizons as part of the U.S. Army’s Augmented Reality Dismounted Soldier Training (ARDST) project.

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) teamed up with the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, and industry partners Magic Leap Horizons and Haptech Inc. to develop the new AR training environment.

TRACER AR environment for military training, ONR.
Sailors assigned to the Center for Security Forces detachment in Chesapeake, Va., demonstrate the TRACER system. The sailors file into the room, their weapons ready. Their mission: to secure an active-shooter situation and apprehend the holographic perpetrator. Courtesy of John F. Williams.

“All of these technologies combine together to give us extremely accurate weapon and movement tracking capabilities as well as highly immersive simulation visual, auditory and haptic [relating to the sense of touch] feedback,” Patrick Mead, TRACER project lead, said. “Ultimately, TRACER provides sailors with dynamic, engaging, and less predictable training scenarios that would be too costly or time-consuming to create in the real world.” The system is built mostly from commercial, off-the-shelf products.

TRACER was recently tested at the Center for Security Forces (CENSECFOR) in North Carolina. The mission at CENSECFOR is to train sailors in U.S. Navy security force fundamentals, code of conduct, anti-terrorism, and expeditionary warfare training.

“We can integrate this AR virtual training environment into our existing curriculum, and it allows us to be very reconfigurable,” Cmdr. Kim Littel, CENSECFOR director of training innovation, said. “We can go in and we can change the scenarios, or we can change the opposition forces and the threat that they pose.”

According to Littel, the necessary space required to conduct training operations on a ship is limited and the opportunity to conduct training without impeding on regular operations is scarce. TRACER will help mitigate those issues. “In an environment where we’re taking students from the fleet, from their primary jobs, to train them, we need to maximize the limited time we have to make them as proficient as possible,” Littel said. “This technology provides a huge advantage by being quickly adaptable to different scenarios, geographic locations, and opposition forces. Using this technology, we can conduct training almost anywhere, anytime.”

The Office of Naval Research Global (ONRG) TechSolutions-sponsored TRACER package consists of a virtual-reality headset, a backpack, a state-of-the-art simulated weapon, and a software package that creates multiple and adaptable simulation scenarios for security personnel to experience.
Jul 2019
Research & TechnologyAmericasOffice of Naval Researchimagingopticsaugmented realityARvirtual realityVRAR/VR headsetdefensemilitaryvirtual warfaregaming

back to top
Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn YouTube RSS
©2023 Photonics Media, 100 West St., Pittsfield, MA, 01201 USA, [email protected]

Photonics Media, Laurin Publishing
x We deliver – right to your inbox. Subscribe FREE to our newsletters.
We use cookies to improve user experience and analyze our website traffic as stated in our Privacy Policy. By using this website, you agree to the use of cookies unless you have disabled them.