US Navy and Marine Corps pilots receive Night Vision Goggle (NVG) training as part of their overall
training to maintain the superiority of our forces. This training must incorporate realistic targets;
backgrounds; and representative atmospheric and weather effects they may encounter under operational
conditions. An approach for pilot NVG training is to use the Night Imaging and Threat Evaluation
Laboratory (NITE Lab) concept. The NITE Labs utilize a 10' by 10' static terrain model equipped with
both natural and cultural lighting that are used to demonstrate various illumination conditions, and visual
phenomena which might be experienced when utilizing night vision goggles. With this technology, the
military can safely, systematically, and reliably expose pilots to the large number of potentially dangerous
environmental conditions that will be experienced in their NVG training flights.
A previous SPIE presentation described our work for NAVAIR to add realistic atmospheric and weather
effects to the NVG NITE Lab training facility using the NVG - WDT(Weather Depiction Technology)
system (Colby, et al.). NVG -WDT consist of a high end multiprocessor server with weather simulation
software, and several fixed and goggle mounted Heads Up Displays (HUDs). Atmospheric and weather
effects are simulated using state-of-the-art computer codes such as the WRF (Weather Research &mgr;
Forecasting) model; and the US Air Force Research Laboratory MODTRAN radiative transport model.
Imagery for a variety of natural and man-made obscurations (e.g. rain, clouds, snow, dust, smoke,
chemical releases) are being calculated and injected into the scene observed through the NVG via the
fixed and goggle mounted HUDs. This paper expands on the work described in the previous presentation and will describe the 3D
Virtual/Augmented Reality Scene - Weather - Atmosphere - Target Simulation part of the NVG -
WDT. The 3D virtual reality software is a complete simulation system to generate realistic target -
background scenes and display the results in a DirectX environment.
This paper will describe our approach and show a brief demonstration of the software capabilities. The
work is supported by the SBIR program under contract N61339-06-C-0113.