By: Cody Murtle, Senior Director, Capture Management, AR/VR Lead
Augmented Reality (AR) technology has the potential to revolutionize Department of Defense (DOD) mission readiness by reducing troubleshooting times, improving training, and dramatically increasing situational awareness and collaboration. Let’s explore a few of these benefits and capabilities.
Reducing Troubleshooting Times
One of the primary advantages of AR technology in the technical maintenance environment is its ability to overlay digital information onto the physical world, creating a mixed reality environment. Personnel can view information such as technical drawings, sensor data, or remote expert assistance directly in their field of view, enabling them to make informed decisions quickly and accurately.
AR headsets also give users the ability to view this data hands-free—allowing them to work through maintenance tasks without interruption. This immediate access to information reduces the need for physical manuals and minimizes downtime during repairs.
Experts from centralized locations can use AR technology to see what the on-site technicians see, enabling them to guide and troubleshoot complex repairs in real-time without the need to travel or excessive communication through emails and pictures. This capability significantly enhances the support network and allows the subject matter experts to instantaneously be at the point of need to aid.
AR headsets can also add aid in equipment diagnostics by leveraging sensors and data from the connected machinery. Technicians can receive real-time alerts and predictive maintenance insights, ensuring proactive repair and preventing critical failures before they occur.
This technology empowers technicians to perform tasks with greater precision, speed, and confidence, ultimately bolstering operational readiness and mission success on the battlefield.
With aging contractor workforces all across the DOD, the importance of knowledge retention and comprehensive training is greater than ever. AR headset technology facilitates this process by enabling users to capture videos of POV task completion for storage and future reference in training video libraries. By using program experts to capture interactive AR
tutorials, users can retain invaluable expertise for generations to come.
Innovative AR technologies also provide the opportunity for new hires to get a base level of on-the-job training without risking damage to expensive equipment. This immersive and practical approach to training accelerates skill acquisition, retains critical expertise on programs for longer, and boosts overall readiness of Government assets.
Improved Situational Awareness and Collaboration
TAR headsets can display real-time data from the equipment being maintained directly in the field of view of the maintenance technician. This includes performance metrics, temperature, pressure, and other critical information. It also includes reference material such as technical manuals, drawings, or schematics. Having such data readily available enables technicians to make informed decisions on the spot, assess the equipment’s real-time condition, and identify potential issues quickly.
For complex maintenance tasks or unfamiliar situations, technicians can connect with remote experts using AR headsets in a video teleconference format. This gives the expert the ability to see exactly what the technician sees in real-time and provide guidance, troubleshooting tips, and solutions. Some headsets also give the remote expert remote control of certain aspects of the user’s AR headset such as zoom functions, picture and video capture capabilities, and live annotation within the user’s POV. This instant access to remote support reduces downtime and prevents costly mistakes.
AR plays a crucial role in enhancing collaboration—even between the U.S. Military and our Allies by overcoming communication barriers and facilitating seamless information sharing. These cutting-edge devices provide voice command navigation in over 20 languages and dialects, enabling personnel from diverse linguistic backgrounds to communicate effectively. By providing timely and contextually relevant information, technicians are empowered to make better decisions, improve equipment reliability, and ultimately reduce downtime and operational costs.
Amentum is fully dedicated to the pursuit and implementation of these technologies across our portfolio to increase mission readiness for our customers. As a contractor, we provide a level of flexibility often unachievable in the Government environment to ensure the U.S. Air Force always has access to the latest and greatest technologies that are available across this rapidly evolving industry.