AUVSI: USAF seeks to streamline UAV pilot training

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The US Air Force Research Laboratory is examining new ways to train unmanned aircraft pilots more efficiently.Simulation might be one solution to train those operators - potentially without training on a real aircraft. Simulations could use computer game technology rather than expensive industrial systems, said AFRL's Leah Rowe, a research psychologist, speaking at yesterday's educational sessions.One commercially purchased system is already in use with the Air National Guard. A second more sophisticated simulator developed using game technology is currently being tested. The system can do many of the training tasks as commercial device, but is far cheaper. In many respects, for certain military training tasks, the AFRL trainer offers greater fidelity. That allows unmanned (or other) pilots or ground controllers to train with realistic visuals and communications relatively cheaply. If it works as planned, it could greatly reduce training costs for the USAF.

In future, Rowe hopes the system will be completely adaptive instead of using canned scenarios.