NY Air Guard Help to Build Virtual Hangar
By Master Sgt. Barbara Olney, 174th Attack Wing
/ Published May 04, 2021
Hancock Field ANGB, New York --
The Airmen, who maintain the MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft operated by the 174th Attack Wing, took apart an MQ-9 so that computer experts from the Air Education and Training Command could take pictures and scan images of those of those parts.
The images and scans captured will be used to create a virtual 3-D computer model of the MQ- which can be used as a training tool by maintenance technicians when they don’t have an actual aircraft to work with.
One component of Air Education and Training Command initiative is the Integrated Technology Platform, or ITP for short.
The goal of the ITP is to work with other major commands to build a virtual hangar that is used in a classroom setting to conduct training for maintenance or other career fields.
The computer simulation will enable students to go through a process on a computer in a virtual 3-D environment.
“The team has already created computerized version of the F-16, F-35 and C-130. Once the MQ-9 is complete, it will be placed into a virtual hangar, with those aircraft,” said Masoud Rasti Program Manager for Integrated Technology Platform.
“Current focus is about virtual reality and the objective to virtual reality is convert the actual aircraft to virtual aircraft,” he said.
“The goal is to be able to conduct training anywhere and anytime in a highly developed and augmented realistic environment,” Rasti explained.
“Students would have a virtual reality headset on and the instructor would also have the virtual reality headset and the premises is they could be sitting anywhere said”, said Technical Sgt. William McConnell Jr., a Field Training Detachment Instructor.
“They are all going to be looking at the same view as if they were looking straight at the piece of equipment,” he added.
“More than anything, we try to help our current and future Airmen to use the technology that embrace their attentiveness and their cognitive understanding about what we do as far as the Air Force in general”, Rasti said.
“Although, hands on training is the best realistic training for members to have, there are times when hands on training isn’t available,” said Chief Master Sgt. Ian Tucker, Field Training Detachment Superintendent.
“This type of training is not meant to replace hands on where you learn the dexterity and things like torqueing a bolt but it can help you stay proficient with task based type things”, he explained.
“It’s an interim opportunity when an actual aircraft is not available which happens a lot in our inventory, so in turn it never stops the continuum of learning when people are without the actual asset,” said Chief Master Sergeant, Amanda Pelletier, the Deputy Manager of the Integrated Technology Platform team.