The use of virtual reality (VR) simulations for training pilots and aircraft mechanics is slowly coming to be accepted in academic institutions and in companies. The success of the VR approach is seeing an increasing number of areas where VR is being applied, such as training for the complex procedure of refuelling a plane.
The refuelling process for an aircraft is very complicated, and can be dangerous. Jet fuel is extremely combustible, so careful attention must be paid to things such the possibility of static discharge. In addition, the operating conditions required for ground crew working on the aircraft are very demanding, as any kind of contamination of the fuel – even water can cause disastrous consequences such as a plane crash.
As a result, Shell’s Aviation Fuelling Division have been working together with EON Reality on the VR Filter Water Separator Trainer. This simulation is a proof of concept system that allows for advanced training in aviation refuelling. The strict standards required for aviation meant that Shell needed the VR simulation to be very accurate and capable of offering photorealistic training.
“We are really proud to have proven Virtual Trainer with Shell,” says Eamonn Watson, Director at EON Reality.“The Proof of Concept won full approval from Shell’s VR/AR incubator in the Netherlands, where it is now being demonstrated to global stakeholders across Shell, to show how Virtual Trainer can deliver a unique, connected enterprise platform for VR learning efficiencies across all global departments.”
The VR environment allows for a collaborative training set-up. The trainee enters the VR landscape and is guided through a lesson remotely by a live trainer, who can administer and monitor the training scenario from a laptop. It is hoped that by using VR training it will be possible to reduce operational downtime and accelerate learning of new employees. The system also allows for learning rates and trainee behaviours to be tracked so the training program can be tailored to address any deficiencies.
It has t yet been disclosed what VR platform the system uses, though EON Reality’s AVR Platform is compatible with most currently available VR headsets, including Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. VRFocus will be sure to bring you more information once it is available.