The US Joint Systems Integration Lab (JSIL) has ordered 171 new MetaVR Virtual Reality Scene Generator (VRSG) licenses for the MALET-JSIL Aircrew Trainer (MJAT) training capability, the company announced on 30 April.
The MetaVR real-time 3D licenses are coupled with government off-the-shelf software to create a ground control station (GCS) simulator for training pilots and sensor operators of the MQ-9 REAPER remotely-piloted aircraft system (RPAS), as an upgrade to the US Air Force’s PREDATOR/REAPER Mission Aircrew Training System (PMATS) programme. The existing PMATS devices are being progressively shipped to the JSIL facility in Huntsville, AL, where the original PMATS configuration is being upgraded with the newly updated simulation software suite.
MJAT is a roll-up system that appends to an MQ-9 tactical GCS in order to convert it to a training simulator. It enables RPAS operators to use simulator time as part of qualification and follow-on training to maintain proficiency and currency in all required tasks. The complete MJAT family of systems includes the MJAT as well as the MJAT Stand Alone Trainer (MSAT), which uses GCS-like hardware to provide a training-only solution; and the Desk Top Trainer, which is used for classroom training. Deployment of MJAT began in 2016, with 56 systems installed at USAF sites across the country. JSIL purchased additional VRSG licenses in 2019, and these additional 171 licenses will support the continued roll-out of MJAT as an upgrade to PMATS.
Like other JSIL-developed RPAS/UAS trainers, the embedded MJAT uses the Air Force Synthetic Environment for Reconnaissance and Surveillance software to stimulate the tactical vehicle control software to simulate GCS functions: air vehicle control, payload control, weapons control, communications, send and receive video data, and mission planning.
VRSG simulates the GCS camera payload by streaming real-time HD-quality H.264 video with KLV metadata. This allows operators to train using the same hardware they use while flying real-world missions, simulating real ISR systems and interoperating with networked Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) simulators.
The MJAT simulator also uses Battlespace Simulations' Modern Air Combat Environment (MACE) for scenario creation and computer-generated/semi-automated forces. As this software is also used by JTAC simulators, systems that use MACE and VRSG can enable training for REAPER operators and JTACs in a joint, simulated training environment that can fully replicate real-world missions via Combat Air Force Distributed Mission Operations (CAF DMO).