Under the AFWERX SBIR contract, DiSTI will provide its VE Studio for Unity Virtual Training Development Platform to internal U.S. Air Force organizations for the development of virtual operations and maintenance training curriculum for desktop, mobile, virtual, and augmented reality technologies.

For over ten years VE Studio has been used to develop virtual maintenance trainers for aircraft such as the F35, P8, F16, F15, CH47, and numerous other fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft and land vehicles. During this program, the 555th Software Engineering Squadron, part of the 76th Software Engineering Group at Tinker Air Base, will use VE Studio to create virtual maintenance training and advanced troubleshooting applications for various aircraft and ground support equipment.

“The Air Force is looking for ways to modernize our maintenance training and field service capabilities. Leveraging commercially available technologies enables us to meet mission requirements quickly and cost-effectively,” says Col. Robert Epstein, commander of the Air Force Agency for Modelling and Simulation. “With this program, we will be creating a common architecture and development platform for virtual and augmented reality (AR) training content built on proven and commercially available technology.”

DiSTI will also collaborate with Orlando-based Design Interactive to integrate their AUGMENTOR AR platform with VE Studio for Unity. This combined solution will enable Air Force subject matter experts and mechanics to use AR technology to author and distribute supplemental training content without the need for complicated computer models and software development.

“This integrated solution will provide the best of both worlds by bringing procedural training to the point of need in the hanger or on the flight line. It will also enable Air Force technicians to create content that can be integrated back into the procedural training curriculum,” according to John Cunningham, chief revenue officer of DiSTI.

In the world of maintenance, there are always areas not fully covered by technical publications, where supplemental instructional videos/processes could assist the maintainers in doing their jobs more effectively. This common architecture will provide the U.S. Air Force with tremendous flexibility to development curriculum in-house or contract out to other organizations to develop for them. As AR/VR (virtual reality) and mobile technologies change, the content can be easily adapted and kept up-to-date without the need for expensive and time-consuming redevelopment. With this program, the Air Force is also creating a common database repository of 3D content and procedures that can be shared and reused across the enterprise.