The AMS Virtual Reality Training Executive (VoRTEX) is a generic VR platform that can then be 'customized' for any specific training application. It includes a software suite that provides a core of common functions and a pre-defined architecture that run on Commercial off the Shelf (COTS) PC hardware under Windows.
Vortex software, developed using the UML design process, provides a set of base classes (building blocks) that can be used to create a specific VR training environment. The development has been aimed at providing a common classroom infrastructure, run-time environment and man-machine interface, which is re-usable across all VR training applications.
Supporting up to 4 Instructors and 16 students, the typical Vortex classroom runs on standard high performance PCs connected by data and audio networks. Equipments are simulated with both working and faulted behavior, offering instructors a wide variety of training scenarios that accurately represent real-life operation and maintenance practices.
Students may operate alone or in pairs, undergoing equipment familiarity training, practicing standard and emergency operating procedures, or fault rectification training. To assist the instructors in student assessment, visual monitoring of student performance is provided and Vortex creates a log file of all student actions. Additional examination software enables instructors to prepare tests with automatic recording of student results for their personal achievement records.
Under the Astute Submarine PFI contract, awarded in November 2001, AMS is supplying the FAST consortium with two Vortex classroom suites, providing a 3D VR interactive environment to conduct operator and maintainer training covering six different onboard systems.