MAI developed parachute jump simulator with VR system
Now everyone can jump with a parachute, feel the free fall, learn how to control the lines and land softly, regardless of age and health situation. MAI Competence Center "Energy Systems" developed a parachute jump simulator with a virtual reality system. The device is designed to teach parachute control skills at the initial stage of training. The work was carried out with the involvement of DOSAAF experts in parachuting.
– Jumping in virtual reality is absolutely safe for everyone. It gives unforgettable sensations, knowledge and skills that can be applied already in more complex training modes and directly in a real jump,” says Dmitry Sukhanov, head of the AR/VR direction of MAI Competence Center “Energy Systems”.
The main function of the simulator is to teach parachute control skills at the initial stage of training. With the help of control lines, a parachutist can control the parachute from the moment it opens to the moment of landing. And the virtual reality system conveys realistic visual sensations of the environment and the distance to objects in the virtual environment. This installation helps skydivers get acquainted with the jump technique at all its stages: separation from the aircraft, work under the canopy with inspection of the canopy, nearby airspace and terrain, exit to landing and directly touching the ground. Using the system one can practice basic parachute control skills in safe conditions, learn the accuracy and correctness of landing, form the correct action algorithms in various jump conditions, including extreme ones.
In addition, the developed prototype is a universal platform and allows to create more highly specialized products. According to the developers, any organization conducting parachute training for both professionals and amateurs of this sport can become consumers.
In addition, the simulator can be used as an entertainment.
– Perhaps, after jumping in virtual reality, someone would like to come to the flying club and make a real jump. Thus, our simulator will contribute to the popularization of parachuting,” says Dmitry Sukhanov.
The developers note that there are analogues both in Russia and abroad, however, similar simulators do not have the ability to simulate the entire jump cycle: jumping from the aircraft to the contact with the ground. As a rule, the student is suspended under the structure and then controls the parachute system until a simulated landing.
– Our simulator implements unique interaction between the real equipment of the stand and virtual reality. When interacting with the stand, there is a response to a virtual simulation, which allows you to immerse the skydiver as much as possible in the training scenario and makes it possible to physically feel the main stages of the jump, such as getting out of the plane, opening the parachute, during which a characteristic push is experienced, and controlling it during the flight. And, importantly, our simulator helps to work out the correct position of the legs at the moment of touching the ground. All this makes our procedural simulator the most effective combination in terms of price-performance ratio in its segment,” says Nikolay Triadsky, technical project manager.
The prototype has already been tested by experienced paratroopers. It was presented in December at the Training and Methodological Meeting of Experts of the Search and Rescue and Parachute Service of Aviation Organizations of DOSAAF, Russia, and was highly appreciated by the heads of parachute units. The next stage is the refinement of various functions.
– It is planned to create a more optimized design, which will take into account all the proposals received. New training scenarios in virtual reality will also be developed, new locations and special effects will be added,” says Alexei Kachurin, chief designer of the project.