By Dolly Rairigh Glass
A team from the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division that developed a standardized architecture and framework for producing training simulators that replicate the functionality of U.S. aviation, submarine and surface-ship tactical systems, was recognized by the Defense Standardization Program Office for their outstanding achievements in 2015.
The new Multipurpose Reconfigurable Training System (MRTS) 3D™ represents a significant advancement in low-cost, high-fidelity tactical equipment, and sets the standard for future trainers.
“MRTS 3D is groundbreaking because it allows us to run simulations of a wide variety of tactical equipment on a single hardware suite,” explained David Williams, NAWCTSD’s deputy director for undersea programs. “The simulations are apps that run on a common device, just like those on a smartphone or tablet computer. But MRTS 3D uses a large touch panel screen to display the simulation, so Sailors can manipulate the components on-screen using gestures that are very similar to the hand motions used to operate the real equipment.”
Williams said that one huge advantage of MRTS 3D is the ability to network several flat panels together and allow team training, in which each Sailor has their own screen yet they all operate the same piece of equipment. They can also link together several screens to simulate a life-sized room of equipment like a radio room or torpedo room, or using the same training devices, the flat screens can be arranged so every Sailor has their own individual screen and can operate their own trainer, like the mobile electric power plant.
“Our design gives us a lot of versatility to mix and match trainer equipment to meet a specific training need,” Williams said. “The real power of the trainer system lies in the software. And since the government owns all the code for the MRTS 3D trainers, we can provide very robust training solutions at a fraction of the cost of using actual tactical gear.”
Currently MRTS 3D technology is used by the U.S. Navy Submarine Force and aviation schools, and they are actively working on additional trainers for the Submarine Force, Aviators, and Surface Fleet. They have also fielded inquiries from the U.S. Army and several foreign military services, but currently have no active projects with them.
The MRTS 3D team members include David Thomas, Darrell Conley, Bill Zeller, Khoa Vu and Christopher Freet, and Williams said they are continuing to push the boundaries of what the system can accomplish.
“This team is very deserving of this award in recognition of the groundbreaking advances they have delivered to the fleet,” said Williams. “The NAWCTSD command is very proud of their accomplishments and is confident that the team will continue to amaze us with their future innovations.”