It may look like a prop from a Star Wars movie, but this helmet
can potentially save lives on the battlefield.
from the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific's (SSC
Pacific) Battlespace Exploitation of Mixed Reality (BEMR) Lab were
joined Dec. 13, 2016 by members of industry and representatives from
the Office of Naval Research (ONR) for a demonstration of the
winning idea from ONR's March 2016 Innovation Jam, which featured
active duty Sailors pitching their technological solutions to fleet
December 14, 2016 - U.S. Navy Lt. Steven McGhan demonstrates
GunnAR helmet developed at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center
Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Alan Antczak, Space and Naval Warfare
Lt. Robert McClenning's winning Unified Gunnery System
concept is an augmented reality (AR) helmet that would fuse
information from a ship's gunnery liaison officer and weapon
system into an easy-to-interpret visual format for the
gunner manning a naval gun system.
training officer aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS
Gridley (DDG 101) who claimed the top spot and $100,000 in
prototyping funds for his idea, said the way this
information-sharing and authorization to fire is currently
done is via decades-old radios and sound-powered phones that
are hard to hear over the din of machine guns and through
the required ear protection. His innovative concept, GunnAR,
is an AR overlay placed onto helmets manufactured by
industry partner, DAQRI, an AR technology company based in
Los Angeles, California. SSC Pacific and DAQRI have entered
into a collaborative research and development agreement to
further explore and develop this technology.
potential payoff for the Navy with this technology ...
according to McClenning, GunnAR provides greater situational
awareness for the gunner wearing the helmet, and a quicker
response time to ward off potential threats.
Pacific's innovative and groundbreaking BEMR Lab allows
scientists and engineers to prototype virtual reality and
augmented reality technologies to generate ideas for
low-cost solutions for fleet training and operational
Heidi Buck, BEMR Lab
director, said GunnAR is an example of taking a Sailor's
concept (a unified gunnery system) from idea to prototype in
a short amount of time with a small amount of funding.
“By using low-cost commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS)
virtual reality technology to aid in prototyping the
concept, and low-cost COTS augmented reality technology to
demonstrate the concept, we've been able to build this
capability very quickly -- all the while keeping the Sailors
endorsing the idea in the loop,” she said.
demonstration is just the beginning,” Buck continued.
“Trident Warrior 2017 (the Navy's fleet exercise off the
Pacific Coast where Sailors and Marines test out new ideas
and innovations in a real-world environment) will be held in
June 2017 and we'll be demonstrating a more mature
capability on USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) and USS Theodore
Roosevelt (CVN 71). Additionally, Waterside Security
programs are interested in adapting it to shore facility
By Patric Petrie, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command
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