Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Jan. 26, 2022

Airmen Team Up Across the Force to Make Augmented Reality a Reality

By Chris McCann JBER Public Affairsc Affairs

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- A jet engine is a complex machine with thousands of individual parts. Layers and layers of pipes, tubes, connectors, and electronics are invisible without taking things apart, making learning the anatomy difficult.

Airmen from the 3rd Maintenance Squadron (MXS) have been working with Airmen from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, and Shaw and Seymour Johnson Air Force bases in South and North Carolina respectively, to create augmented-reality glasses, which make learning the systems far easier, using Microsoft’s HoloLens system.

“It’s like Pokemon Go, or the display in Iron Man,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Logan Belknap, who isn’t new to the Air Force maintainer world but is new to the F-22 Raptor and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER).

The HoloLens projects a display to the wearer as they look at the engine, offering interactive menus with information about the parts in view. It also displays parts in inner layers, so the wearer can better understand how things fit together.

“It’s still a beta version; it’s in its infancy,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Eric Macias, the 3rd MXS Propulsion Flight chief, who was instrumental in getting the HoloLens project off the ground. “We identified the need - we were still training like we were in the 1970s, with block-and-line diagrams. Innovating like this cuts the required time, and it works with all three learning styles - visual, auditory, and hands-on.”

The headset can also be set to send its visual feed to a computer, so a supervisor can see what the trainee is looking at and provide assistance.

“Instead of being instructor-centric, driven by how someone teaches, this is student-centric,” Macias said. “It helps them learn much faster.”

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Dylan Dennehy, a Chicago native, has been in the Air Force two years, but has only been at JBER and working on F-22s since October. Learning the new engines is much easier with the HoloLens, he said.

“It’s incredibly helpful,” he said. “We’ve been talking about the potential uses that could be coming in the near future, like exploded views of assemblies.”

The current iteration of the HoloLens was put together across the three different bases for different airframes. The Shaw maintainers built a virtual F-16 Fighting Falcon to demonstrate all the pins required when the jet is not in use, but which must be removed before flight.

While a trainee using a paper or digital checklist may miss one, the HoloLens’s interactive display means the trainee can see each one on the virtual aircraft.

“It’s step-by-step, with nothing missing,” said Macias. “It removes the human error.”

It’s also self-paced and more appealing than photographs.

Macias said the flight partnered with AFWERX, an Air Force program focused on innovation, receiving funding for one HoloLens headset and the programming of the engine parts.

The next stage will be more modules, with the ability to see and interact with more F-22 parts. Other installations involved in the project will also be getting more in-depth with the airframes they use.

The Air Force is moving to more virtual and augmented reality training, as it saves time and material, Macias said.

“There’s a virtual painting booth in the Low Observable Flight,” he said. “When they paint, there’s a very long cure time when training stops. And of course, there’s hazardous materials. Doing that training virtually saves a lot of time and prevents that waste, but gives great practice.”

Increasingly, Macias said, these virtual tools are becoming organic to the Air Force instead of something purchased off the shelf; Airmen are learning to program virtual worlds for systems like Oculus.

“Our Airmen must be multi-capable and adaptable team builders, as well as innovative and courageous problem-solvers,” said Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. in his "Accelerate Change or Lose" strategy. “We must rise to the challenges of tomorrow’s highly competitive environment to deliver. We have done this before, and together we can do it again.”

The HoloLens initiative is just one way JBER Airmen are doing just that.

CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM
Facebook

Like Us
Twitter
322,779
Follow Us

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
USS Charleston Delivers, Displays LCS Versatility
An MH-60S Seahawk helicopter, assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 21, detachment 8, transports pallets of supplies from the Independence-class littoral combat ship USS Charleston (LCS 18) to the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102). Charleston, part of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7, is on a rotational deployment, operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with partners and serve as a ready-response force in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
May 26, 2022 - PHILIPPINE SEA -- The Independence-class littoral combat ship USS Charleston (LCS 18) conducted a vertical replenishment-at-sea of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102) in the Philippine Sea, May 21. During...

Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III's Call with Japan Minister Of Defense Kishi Nobuo
May 26, 2022 - WASHINGTON -- Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III held a secure call with Japan Minister of Defense Kishi Nobuo to share assessments on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) recent ballistic missile...

Commander Fleet Activities Sasebo Soto Dam Memorial Ceremony 2022
Sasebo-based U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) sailors, Sasebo City Hall, Sasebo City Water Bureau, and Yunoki District representatives and Sasebo Nishi High School students salute and stand as a color guard from Commander, Fleet Activities Sasebo presents colors and JMSDF Petty Officer 3rd Class Mana Taniguchi plays taps during a memorial ceremony at Soto Dam in Sasebo, Japan May 26, 2022. The annual memorial ceremony is held for the 53 American POWs and 14 Japanese laborers who died building Soto Dam during World War II.
May 26, 2022 - SASEBO, Japan -- Sasebo-based U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force sailors, Sasebo City Hall, Sasebo City Water Bureau, and Yunoki District representatives met atop the scenic Soto Dam for the annual Soto Dam...

U.S. Centers for Disease Control Opens New Country Office in the Philippines
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Philippines Director Dr. Romel Lacson (left) receives the MOU from Dr. Anjo Fabellon of the DOH-Bureau of International Health Cooperation.
May 26, 2022 - MANILA, U.S. Embassy in the Philippines -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officially opened this month a new country office in Manila as part of its commitment to strengthen and expand its existing...

Japan and U.S. Conduct Bilateral Exercise
U.S. Indo-Pacific Command aircraft conducted a bilateral exercise with Japan
Air Self-Defense Forces 25 May, 2022. This exercise was conducted to
demonstrate our nation's rapid reaction capabilities, high levels of force
readiness, close coordination, bilateral interoperability, and credible
deterrent capacity amid the increasing tensions and destabilizing regional
security events brought about by North Korea.  (Courtesy Photo)
May 25, 2022 - CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii – To showcase combined capabilities to deter and counter regional threats, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command aircraft conducted a bilateral exercise with Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force 25 May, 2022 in the Sea...