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ForgeFX Simulations & MRIGlobal Develop An Augmented Reality CBRN Detection Device Training Simulator For US Military


This article originally appeared on CBRNeWorld.com.

The U.S. Department of Defense Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (jpeo-cbrnd ) has contracted mriglobal and forgefx simulations to develop an augmented reality (AR) CBRN detection device training simulator. The Enhanced Warfighter Augmented Trainer (EWAT), or HoloTrainer, is a training simulator designed specifically for the Joint Project Manager Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Special Operations Forces (JPM CBRN SOF) to provide first responders and warfighters with the best possible training to identify hazardous materials and situations accurately.

The training simulator program is powered by a Microsoft HoloLens 2, projecting holographic interactive digital twins of physical devices. The application includes guided training lessons for all major functions the device performs, with voice-over-narration and text instruction. Users can learn at their own pace, by doing actual tasks and steps needed to master use of the real-world device. In addition, the HoloTrainer allows users to train with physical devices, seeing holographically projected animations and instructions on the heads-up-display (HUD) in front of them, allowing them to keep their hands on the device at all times. The application also supports networked multi-user connectivity, enabling trainers and trainees to work together remotely as if in the same room.

Starting today, the Teledyne FLIR identiFINDER® R440 will be available for trainees within the application. Teledyne FLIR Defense, makers of the identiFINDER series of field-proven handheld radiation detectors, is one of the device manufacturers working with MRIGlobal and ForgeFX Simulations. The identiFINDER® R440 is a lightweight radionuclide identification device (RID) that delivers highly sensitive detection and fast results. The R440 is available with various advanced detector options to respond to radiological threats from farther away, behind heavier shielding, and with better resolution than similar-sized devices. Operators can train on the familiar three-button interface, common to all Teledyne FLIR hand-held radiation detectors, using the HoloTrainer’s virtual and tactile learning combination.

Incorporating Microsoft’s Mixed Reality Toolkit for hand-tracking, and taking advantage of the built-in forward-facing HoloLens cameras, users can interact with holographically projected interactive objects using natural, intuitive hand gestures during simulation-based training. The HoloTrainer provides an animated reference device to guide users through actions and expected outcomes. The application can simulate hazardous situations such as lethal doses of radiation and CBRN equipment used to detect it. The simulator includes a collection of lessons that provide training on subjects like Parts Familiarization and Power Up/Down, as well as training on the Finder, EasyFinder, and Identify Modes. In addition, the application offers remote connectivity capabilities through multiuser cloud servers, enabling users to train together in private online sessions, allowing trainers and trainees to collaborate seamlessly as if they were in the same room, even though they may be thousands of miles apart.

“This project represents a groundbreaking approach in delivering cutting-edge training to those performing mission-critical operations,” said ForgeFX Simulations CEO, Greg Meyers. “We are proud to partner with MRIGlobal, JPEO-CBRND, and Teledyne FLIR to develop this innovative training simulator, ensuring first responders have state-of-the-art training before facing hazardous situations.”

The AR-based training simulator is set to redefine the way first responders and soldiers are trained, ensuring that they are adequately prepared to handle hazardous materials and situations with confidence. The success of this project represents a major step forward in CBRN training and highlights the importance of collaboration and innovation in developing cutting-edge solutions for complex challenges. By working together, MRIGlobal, ForgeFX Simulations, JPEO-CBRND, and Teledyne FLIR have created an invaluable tool that redefines first responder and soldier training, helping to safeguard lives and enhance security.