Military Systems Advance with Augmented and Virtual Reality

Date: Issue 74 - May 2017

Studies on the development and production vision of national and domestic military systems in our country are continuing at a rapid pace. Within this vision, the development of military systems using new technologies is of high importance. In addition, the introduction of new technologies, which are expected to increase the capabilities of existing military systems, has become one of the most important targets, as it will increase the quality and efficiency of the systems.

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies have begun to be used in various fields in the context of this target. It has also been acknowledged in academic circles that these technologies give users high situational awareness in various fields.

It has been evaluated that it is possible to increase the operational capability and the analytical capabilities of military personnel who plan and perform military operations at various levels in combat operation centers and joint operation centers by using these technologies in an operational and tactical sense.

Augmented reality can show the user the real environment and the virtual environment overlapping each other simultaneously. In other words, it becomes possible to see virtual objects in the real world and to interact with them. Virtual reality presents an entirely virtual world to its users. The user can navigate through and interact with the virtual world.

Nowadays, the fast development of electronic and software technologies and the widespread use of mobile technologies have made it easier to develop AR and VR technologies and to present them to the end user. Even with a mobile phone, augmented reality and virtual reality can be experienced. However, with the development of wearable technologies, AG and SG glasses have widely been used.

Havelsan, with the vision of developing and developing emerging technologies, defines and carries out projects with the mission of bringing these technologies to our armed forces. In this context, it has launched an R&D project to develop the aforementioned technologies. The C4ISR Holographic Situational Awareness (HoSA-C4ISR) System exhibited at the IDEF 2017 fair is a prototype that includes preliminary studies of the initiated R&D project.

The HoSA system currently consists of 3 AR glasses and one server. Users can utilize the system by wearing AR Glasses. With HoSA, the tactical miniature operation area (world in miniature - WIM) can be seen as a 3D hologram. This hologram contains two-dimensional hologram windows displaying tactical tracks and track data and 3D environmental terrain data as mesh. The system can be controlled via natural gestures. Through personalized role-based content, multiple users can see the same holograms in the same realm together and interact with holograms.

In the scenario prepared for the prototype to be presented at the IDEF 2017 fair, tactical tracks such as ships, airplanes, submarines and land troops are defined. In this system, the user, who is included in the AR glasses, will be able to see holograms as defined contacts on the hologram geographical form. The user can see a virtual cursor icon equivalent to the mouse cursor, and when the cursor is brought into contact with the head movements and touches with hand gestures, a 2D hologram window is displayed which includes basic tracks information moving on tracks with the tracks. Through the buttons in this window, 3D models of tracks can be displayed in detail, track details can be displayed in larger 2D hologram windows, and at the same time the track trajectory can be seen as a hologram.

Havelsan R&D has the ability to test the AR and VR based systems to be developed in real-time with real-time data. Within the context of R&D, the user experience (UX - user experience) tests will be executed with real users (tactical commanders). Test results will be considered in academic research conducted jointly by Havelsan and Gebze Technical University. Effective systems will be developed by taking into consideration test results and academic research optimized to criteria such as increasing the situational awareness of the users and ensuring rapid reaction in case of emergency. In addition to this, compatibility of the human brain (neuroergonomics) based on academic research will be completed to increase the human-machine interaction efficiency of the AR/VR based systems.