Tech company Red 6 has conducted the first multi-aircraft augmented reality (AR) training flight using both real and virtual aircraft, according to the company.
The recent exercise is an advancement toward a “military Metaverse” for combat flight training that allows multiple pilots to communicate at the same time while using a synthetic training environment, Red 6 said in an announcement made during the UP.Summit mobility conference underway this week in Bentonville, Arkansas.
During the test flight, pilots in two Berkut 540 experimental aircraft departed Santa Monica Airport (KSMO) in California and entered Red 6’s AR environment, called the Combined Augmented Reality Battlespace Operation Network (CARBON).
Once linked in CARBON, the pilots could see and interact with an AR generated Boeing KC-46 Pegasus Tanker. Through AR, one pilot conducted a training mission with the tanker, while the other pilot observed in real time.
“We are thrilled that our thesis has been validated, and this achievement is a major step forward towards the creation of an outdoor Military Metaverse in which all warfighters, across all domains can train together,” said Daniel Robinson, founder and CEO of Red 6, in a statement.
The test flight comes two years after Red 6 conducted what it said was the “world-first live dogfight” against a virtual aircraft driven by artificial intelligence.
“The flight showcased the groundbreaking display and control systems needed to bring AR into the real world, while simultaneously integrating tactical AI into the Red 6 system,” the company said.
Red 6 is now looking at AR solutions on the ground, according to Robinson.
“We are in the early stages of exploring dismounted solutions and the ability to connect a dismounted soldier to pilots in an airplane to allow them to see a common picture,” he told FLYING.
The aviation industry is increasingly turning to AR, for applications from air traffic control operations to pilot training.
Last fall, students at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, developed AR holograms that create 3D models of the CRJ-700 and allow the student to move around inside the aircraft systems.