Air Force Office of Scientific Research-sponsored researchers are creating a virtual reality environment that would allow numerous UAV operators to interface with it to control multiple, semi-autonomous UAVs effectively and without current limitations in areas like situational awareness. This environment includes advanced physical- and eye-tracking systems and voice interfaces. It also features a large field of view and an innovative information display that shows the air vehicles in flight, the surrounding airspace and terrain, and information from the UAVs’ instruments, sensors, and weapon systems. “We are also exploring new ways to employ virtual reality to address the challenge of time lag that is characteristic of applications where machines are operated at a distance,” said James Oliver, Iowa State University lead researcher on the project. (AFOSR report by Maria Callier)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.