RAF Brize Norton - VRPT

Instructor Station

This is the main control interface for the virtual parachute training system. From here the instructor can choose to load from a selection of pre-set scenarios covering the range of available canopy types. It is also possible to re- configure the scenarios so that some of the students can be despatched from a different aircraft at a different altitude yet all still remain in the same live environment.

Each of the live student views are replicated on the 8 small LCD monitors either side of the instructors main control screens. This allows the instructor to see what the students see and monitor reactions to malfunctions and ensure students are performing the correct control checks. In addition to this the system monitors the students from the moment they are despatched, and continues to do so until they land.

Trainee Station

Maelstrom were responsible for the design of the prototype unit including the unique suspended gimbal frame, this was controlled by the users toggles through the use of pulleys to create the correct tensions when steering their virtual parachute. Other unique features include hand and finger sensors which were used to detect hand positions and also gestures like grasp and release.

During their virtual parachute jump users would be expected to carry out certain procedures with their hands, the software recognises certain gestures for e.g. grasping their toggles, or releasing their toggles and grabbing their release handle for their PEL or even during freefall to let out their drogue or pilot chute. All of these gestures are recorded and saved onto each students report for later evaluation.