BATTLESPACE GOES FOR A (SIMULATED) DRIVE
By Julian Nettlefold
22 Jul 10. During Farnborough BAE Systems demonstrated its Operated Driver Simulator developed by FAAC Inc. in the USA and offered by BAE and VT for driver training in the U.K. FAAC has designed the ODS with a generic truck cab that can be reconfigured through the use of interchangeable dash kits, controls and simulated armour panels to provide an accurate representation of the driver’s station. Force feedback steering combined with vehicle dynamics software, replicating each vehicle’s performance characteristics, provide a realistic training experience.
FAAC Military Operator Driving Simulator
FAAC’s Operator Driving Simulators (ODS) have been a major contributor to the training of military Motor Transport Operators since the beginning of their fielding with the U.S. Army in 2002. The majority of Army ODS systems are located at Fort Leonard Wood supporting the Motor Transport Operator Schoolhouse. In 2007 the Marine Corps, which was already committed to schoolhouse simulation-based driver training with FAAC’s MTVR-TS driving simulator, realized the need for a reconfigurable driving simulator to support pre-deployment training of Marine Operational and Reserve Forces both in CONUS and overseas, with the majority of systems configured in mobile trailers. The U.S. Air Force, Navy and National Guard have also procured ODS systems for training their tactical wheeled vehicle operators. To date, over 150 ODS simulators have been fielded.
The U.S. Army, Marine Corps and National Guard have a wide variety of trucks which require driver training – from HMMWVs up through heavy tank haulers and specialized vehicles such as the Buffalo MRAP. To meet this need, FAAC has designed the ODS with a generic truck cab that can be reconfigured through the use of interchangeable dash kits, controls and simulated armour panels to provide an accurate representation of the driver’s station.
Force feedback steering combined with vehicle dynamics software, replicating each vehicle’s performance characteristics, provide a realistic training experience. ODS training suites are available for the following vehicles:
• M915 tractor trailer
• M939 straight truck
• MTVR (Straight & Up-Armored)
• HMMWV (Straight & Up-Armored)
• Cougar Category I MRAP
• Cougar Category II MRAP
• Buffalo Category III MRAP
ODS Interchangeable Dash Sets
ODS systems are capable of being fielded in various configurations – Motion Cuing systems include 6-DOF full-motion platforms and 3-DOF motion seats. Visual solutions are scalable and generally range from 180 to 225 degrees field-of-view. All ODS systems are capable of being installed in a fixed-site facility or self-contained trailers that oftentimes military units can relocate using organic tactical wheeled vehicle assets. The mobile ODS systems are climate controlled and capable of operating on shore power or on-board generator.
FAAC’s ODS features a six-level training curriculum, ranging from Beginner Driver up through Advanced Tactical Driver. The curriculum tracks the driver as he/she progresses in skill level, presenting more difficult scenarios as skill level warrants. Key to the curriculum is the scoring system, which monitors in real time over 50 driving parameters. Whenever a customer-defined threshold is exceeded on any parameter, the instructor is alerted via the instructor operator station (IOS). Demerit points are assigned to the driver’s score as a function of skill level and scenario.
If a driver fails a scenario, the curriculum manager recommends to the instructor a remedial scenario for the student. ODS driving scenarios are developed using a variety of visual databases as well as scripted and autonomous entities. All weather conditions and a number of vehicle malfunctions are selectable at the IOS. The significant capabilities already developed for the ODS offer c