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Ahead of ITEC 2019 in Stockholm next week, Quantum 3D has released a new version of MANTIS, its real-time scene management and image generation software.

Available on all current platforms, including off-the-shelf PCs running Windows or Linux and on Quantum’s INDEPENDENCE IDX 8000 and IDX 80 series image generators (IG), the new version offers new enhanced capabilities including:

• Support for the latest CIGI 4.0 SISO standard for communication of simulation data between host and IG.

• New OpenVR plugin, which allows MANTIS to be used to drive virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) tethered helmet-mounted devices (HMD) that support the OpenVR standard. This includes HTC VIVE, HTC VIVE PRO, Metavision META 2 and OCULUS RIFT. The plugin supports NVIDIA’s VR SLI technology. This allows two GPUs to be used in SLI configuration for true 3D stereo rendering, one GPU to render each eye image, meaning both eyes are rendered in parallel. This provides a significant performance boost compared to the traditional method of rendering each eye sequentially on the same GPU. Hybrid tracking designs are supported. For example, a VIVE TRACKER can be attached to a Metavision META 2 HMD and be used to track head movements to a much greater precision than is supported by the META 2’s own native tracking technology. The plugin also supports a switchable night vision goggles (NVG) simulation mode, in which the field of view is reduced to a configurable circular aperture, the image is converted to monochrome and noise added.

• Optimisations incorporated into the graphics pipeline which make use of recent OpenGL API improvements. This provides up to 30% improvement in performance compared to previous versions of MANTIS.

• New data types supported in the CDB (Common Database) terrain reader:

o T2D features now supported. These provide the capability to efficiently model conformal surface features such as roads, runways, taxiways, etc.
o Raster Material textures may now be used to delineate coastline and inland water regions. This allows for much more complex outline of these features, now being at the texel level rather than polygonal level.

• Linux support for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12.

The new OpenVR plugin has been successfully deployed by Reiser Simulation and Training GmbH for use in its latest Level D-certified emergency response H145 helicopter trainer. In this trainer, the pilot and co-pilot view multiple channels projected on a dome screen, while the medical crew member wears a META 2 HMD. This crew member is stationed in the aft cabin, next to a physical mock-up of the helicopter door, which can be viewed and operated through the ‘see-through’ MR HMD. MANTIS generates the visuals for the exterior scene and masks this against its own internal model of the helicopter. The result is that the trainee sees the outside world in 3D through the side door and the windows of the helicopter, whilst still being able to operate onboard equipment and to interact with the flight crew, allowing them to train as a team for such tasks as pilot guidance, underslung/winch operation or search and rescue. The trainer is fully NVG capable, providing a dedicated infra-red scene that stimulates the pilots NVG, displaying the resulting scene in the HMD.

The latest version continues to enhance MANTIS capabilities and realism. (Image: Quantum 3D)

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