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AHS International AHS Montréal / Ottawa Chapter International Helicopter Safety Symposium 2005
Safety Strategies In making helicopter flight safer, we can approach the problem from many angles: • Create safer machines • Keep them in pristine condition • Make the environment as safe as possible • Prepare and maintain crew skills OR Make training part of the overall safety strategy, for everyone: Management, Mechanics, Pilots and Crews
In General … There’s one sure-fire way to fix all safety concerns … Just Stop Flying!
Training For Mission Success • Why do we train? • To get the job done • To reduce risk of mission failure • To improve efficiency and reduce cost
Training For Safety Why do we train? • For safety of passengers and payload • For safety of the crew • For safety of the equipment
Individual and Crew Skills Building skills starts with a look at current training methods • Undergraduate flight training produces “licensed drivers”, with little or no real-world “application” skills. • Postgraduate flight training is mostly “OJT” (on-the-job training) • May take years of OJT to build an experienced pilot in some fields, like • Long line operations • Fire fighting • Powerline maintenance • Logging • But are the skills developed in an structured OJT process, or is it just hit-and-miss? • How can it be done better?
OJT Training Methods • Mostly done in the air, pilot-to-pilot • Skills transfer achieved by observing and practicing with an experienced pilot; transfer will depend on how good the “old hand” is • Very few “dedicated” training missions are conducted – OJT is done on revenue producing missions! • Very little synthetic training used, except for type conversions, procedures and emergencies.
Training for demanding tasks and missions should be mandatory – not OJT!
OJT Training Issues • Impossible to introduce every scenario needed for comprehensive training into OJT – it’s a crapshoot • There are a lack of industry standards – how do we know when is a pilot “trained and ready” for his/her missions? But…. • Because OJT may never effectively shrink the pilot’s safety bubble, inefficiencies, risk and confidence issues will remain.
Ideal Training Logic If … • We could create an immersion environment that provided all the necessary sensory cues experienced in OTJ training … • And we could control the weather, visibility conditions, terrain, wind turbulence … • And we could capture the experience of seasoned pilots and use it to train new pilots objectively … • And we could measure the training’s effectiveness through standards and testing … Then… • We’d have a much shorter path for creating journeyman or experienced pilots • And we would have “logic – skill based” safety, because our pilots would be better equipped And… • we will actually improve mission effectiveness and efficiency through better rehearsal and contingency training.
Flying vs Simulation If done correctly: • Simulation is a trade-off for flying • And flying is a trade-off for simulation • The “art of training” is to create a skillful blend of BOTH • When done correctly, you will receive the best and most cost effective training for helicopters
The Case For Synthetic Immersion • Synthesis of OJT would be useful as an immersive training environment in reducing OJT hours, if … • Cues: subtle and dynamic sensory cues and pilot aids were reproduced • Environmental: the characteristics, forces and physics outside the helicopter were accurately modeled • Scenarios: highly realistic training scenarios, with many customizable features, must be available in the synthetic alternative • Economics: synthetic approach must represent a significant cost saving over OJT • Will never eliminate OJT – but synthetic immersion provides a significant offload of OJT time, and is inherently safer approach • Because synthetic immersion cannot replace “procedural training”, a balance of other media (including aircraft) will always be needed in the training equation.
Technology Solutions Synthetic immersion training can provide some of the answers, however … • Current synthetic training is focused on “procedural” training: classic undergraduate, type-conversion, instrument and emergency training roles • Current synthetic trainers do address subtle sensory cues needed for vertical flight and immersive training, but: • Cross-cockpit viewing, through-cockpit viewing - current visual systems have limitations and inherent parallax errors • Stereoscopic effects, for depth and vertical distance perception are limited
More on Technology • Current visual systems in synthetic trainers require “sweet-spot” visual optimizations – viewing anywhere else in the envelope is sub-optimal for training. • Current synthetic training methods are expensive, and therefore scarce, as well as being seriously deficient • Current synthetic trainers are OK for procedural flight training and some missions, but not OK for helicopter skills transfer – “post graduate” training – because they do not do a good job of producing an ‘immersive’ environment.
The Answer to the Immersive Synthetic Training Question • Driven by the Maritime Helicopter community needs, Defense Research and Development Canada in late 90’s developed the Helicopter Deck Landing System (HDLS) prototype for DND • Based on S-61/Sea King landing on CF frigate deck in North Atlantic, modeled sea-states, aircraft and ship accurately • Used early VR technology coupled to available sensory stimulus to “immerse” pilot • All lighting and weather conditions, wind over deck, weather, and controllable sea states provided for launch and landing scenario
The HDLS Prototype • Accurate visual scenery appropriate to the deck landing mission • Head mounted display, with stereo imagery capable of painting the full 360° field of regard environment • Head tracking device • Small, but full-capability motion platform carrying a high-fidelity pilot seat, harness, etc. • Vibration and auditory stimuli provided by multiple audio systems • Controls and pedals to complete the illusion • S-61 Sea King helicopter model, frigate model • Wind, wave, sea and environmental effects derived from comprehensive physics modeling
HDLS Today: “HVT” • In 2003, DRDC partnership with industry established to develop HDLS into commercially viable and production-grade solution • Atlantis selected after competitive proposal • Helicopter Vocational Trainer (HVT) design concepts defined for multiple immersive training scenarios • HVT first production system developed by Atlantis for I/ITSEC 2005 • Multiple representative helicopter models envisaged for production version • Likely to be adopted by DND for post graduate training adjunct to undergraduate course, for mountain flying, deck landing, urban operations training, NVG and other applications.
The HVT Concept • Marriage of VR visuals in a head-mounted display, electric motion base, with accurate, highly detailed scenarios and physics based modeling • Compact, reconfigurable are design features • Key to creating the immersion experience – account for all the pilot’s sensory inputs: • Pilot’s hands hold helicopter controls • Pilot can look anywhere, and see appropriate high-resolution imagery, with correct stereoscopic detail, without parallax error, giving depth-of-field perception • Pilot’s ears hear appropriate audio cues, aircraft sounds • Pilot sits in flight-grade seat with harness, with feet on control-loaded pedals
HVT Subsystems: Hardware • Base: • Seat, Pedals, Controls, • Head Tracker and Helmet • Motion System: • Electric, Six Degrees of Freedom • Host Computer: • PC Based • Image Generator: • PC Based • Instructor Operator Station: • PC Based … leverages advances in PC technology and miniaturization
HVT Subsystems: Baseline • Controls: • Cyclic and collective, with required functionality • Motion system cues: • Modeled from aircraft derived data • Aural Cues: • Dynamically responding to aircraft model and motion • Virtual aircraft: • Emulates specific or generic cockpit configuration and structures • Instruments will be dynamic and be reactive to HVT controls • Instructor Operator Station: • PC-based and controls all aspects of training to include, pause, playback, record, snapshots, gods-eye-views • Will support LAN and WAN implementations • For team-training applications
HVT Footprint … small footprint, 25% of typical FFS realestate, low headroom
HVT Scenarios Many applications, but each will target a specific set of skills to be transferred by training: • Mountain operations • Deck landing and haul-downs, for naval and oilrig operations, in all-weather conditions • Long-line operations, sling loads, static and dynamic loads • Logging • Urban operations, military and civilian emergency pilot and crew training • Brown-out & White-out identification and landing techniques • Night Vision Systems – initial, refresher and advanced training
The HVT Tomorrow • Simulation High Level Architecture already embedded in HVT concept for growth applications • Allows future networking of HVT applications and devices, enabling team training, such as • Multiple helicopter task coordination missions and maneuvers • Configuration for STOVL – JSF and V-22 • Aircrew - ground and deck crew coordination • Aircrew and weapon operator, hoist operator, sensor operator training • Your tasks go here: • •
Summary • Our conference objective: to map out an approach to reduce helicopter accidents by 80% over the next 10 years • It can be traced to many accidents that a major contributor is a lack of adequate training • OJT training does not cover all the eventualities (scenarios), and is inherently risky and costly • Traditional synthetic simulators are not immersive “enough” to allow the pilot to receive the fidelity of training required • The marriage of virtual-reality techniques with the latest visual and motion technology, and high-fidelity environmental modeling, provides a useful “synthetic immersion” into a training environment • Use of synthetic immersion approaches – like HVT – will reduce OJT, improve training and experience, and improve safety
Thank You For further information covering HVT and synthetic immersion training concepts, please contact: Atlantis Systems International, Inc. One Kenview Boulevard Brampton, Ontario L6T 5E6 Canada telephones Canada: +1(905) 792-1981 U.S.A. and International: +1(407) 380-9191 email immersion@AtlantisSI.com