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Title:
PORTABLE AND TOOLLESS MISSION RECONFIGURABLE TRAINER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/056207
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A system and method are that includes a frame and a weapon mount on the frame that receives a weapon mock-up. The method includes setting up a trainer simulator including opening a transportable shipping container, wherein the transportable shipping container includes a coupled integrated common base frame and a universal mount tower. The method includes assembling a seat and pivoting the universal mount tower from a horizontal position to a vertical position wherein the universal mount tower auto-locks into position. The method includes delivering ground vehicle based weapon system training to a user using a continuum of human interface fidelities that includes a first, second and third fidelity, wherein the user is first delivered training at a first fidelity, and then at a second fidelity and then at a third fidelity. A system for a mission reconfigurable trainer simulation is also presented.

Inventors:
KLEIN DONNIE RAY (US)
VAGHAYEANEGAR ANTHONY (US)
STEMMLE RAYMOND H (US)
MOCCIA ANGELO ANTHONY (US)
DONOVAN DAVID PHILLIP (US)
CARDWELL LEE ARTHUR (US)
KENNEDY JASON MICHAEL (US)
HOPKINS KENDALL SCOTT (US)
HARVEY ROBERT LEE (US)
Application Number:
US2019/050922
Publication Date:
March 19, 2020
Filing Date:
September 13, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
RAYDON CORP (US)
International Classes:
A47B3/14; A47B83/02; A47C3/20; A47C4/04; A63F13/214; A63F13/245; A63F13/803; A63F13/90; F41A33/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2017176231A22017-10-12
Foreign References:
KR101874860B12018-07-05
US20060197362A12006-09-07
US6033014A2000-03-07
US20140272805A12014-09-18
US20160203728A12016-07-14
US4798411A1989-01-17
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MOLITORS, Robert (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A mission reconfigurabie trainer simulation system comprising:

a transportable shipping container comprising a coupled integrated common base frame;

the transportable shipping container further comprising a pedestal pole, a seat base and a seat, wherein tire seat base is configured to couple to the pedestal pole and wherein the pedestal pole is configured to couple to the seat;

the integrated common base frame further coupled to an integrated universal mount tower, wherein the integrated universal mount tower is configured to be pivoted into an upright auto-lockable position; and

the integrated universal mount tower comprising an upper universal mount and a lower universal mount.

2. The mission reconfigurabie trainer simulation system of claim 1 , wherein the transportable shipping container is configured in a clam-shell configuration wherein when opened the integrated common base frame, integrated universal mount tower and seat base are contained in a bottom portion of the transportable shipping container.

3. The mission reconfigurabie trainer simulation system of claim 1, wherein the integrated common base frame and integrated universal mount tower are configured with a plurality of built in locking mechanisms wherein setup of the mission reconfigurabie trainer simulation system is accomplished without tools.

4. The mission reconfigurabie trainer simulation system of claim 1 , wherein the integrated universal mount tower is configured to slide on the integrated common base frame towards and away from a user.

5. The mission reconfigurabie trainer simulation system of claim 1, wherein the lower universal mount is configured to accepts a vehicle variant-specific lower assembly, wherein the vehicle variant-specific lower assembly is configured to auto-lock into place.

6. The mission reconfigurabie trainer simulation system of claim 5, wherein the upper uni versal mount is configured with upper uni versal mount holes that accept a vehicle variant-specific upper assembly, wherein the vehicle variant-specific upper assembly is configured with mounting pegs that slide down into the upper universal mount holes.

7. The mission reconfigurabie trainer simulation system of claim 6, wherein the vehicle variant-specific upper assembly and the vehicle variant-specific lower assembly are each separately configured to support at least one of a plurality of fidelities.

8. The mission reconfigurabie trainer simulation system of claim 7, wherein the plurality of fidelities comprise a virtual reality fidelity, a glass panel fidelity and a high fidelity.

9. The mission reconfigurabie trainer simulation system of claim 1, wherein the seat base is replaced by a substantially non-rotatable sensing platform and a support assembly, wherein a user stands on the substantially non-rotatable sensing platform and leans against the support assembly.

10. The mission reconfigurabie trainer simulation system of claim 7, wherein the vehicle variant-specific upper assembly and the vehicle variant-specific lower assembly each contain electronic components and are configured to communicate with a modular transportable computer control station.

11. The mission reconfigurabie trainer simulation system of claim 1, further comprising a standalone instructor operator system comprising a transportable shipping container coupled to an integrated common base frame, wherein the integrated common base frame is further coupled to an integrated universal mount tower and wherein the integrated universal mount tower is configured to be pivoted into an upright auto-lockable position.

12. The mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system of claim 11, further comprising a standalone modular, transportable computer system comprising software and curriculum to support both the mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system and the instructor operator system with a plurality of vehicle-specific training options.

13. A method of simulation training for a crew member, the method comprising: setting up a trainer simulator including opening a transportable shipping container, wherein the transportable shipping container includes an coupled integrated common base frame and a universal mount tower;

assembling a seat by inserting a pedestal pole into a seat base coupled to the integrated common base frame and inserting a seat into the pedestal pole; and

pivoting the universal mount tower from a horizontal position to a vertical position wherein the universal mount tower auto-locks into position.

14. The method of simulation training for a crew' member of claim 13, the method further comprising:

delivering ground vehicle based weapon system training to a user comprising a continuum of human interface fidelities comprising a first and second fidelity, wherein the user is first delivered training at a first fidelity and then at a second fidelity.

15. The method of simulation training for a crew' member of claim 14, wherein the first fidelity and the second fidelity are either a virtual reality fidelity, a glass cockpit fidelity, or a high fidelity, wherein the first fidelity is not the same as the second fidelity.

16. The method of simulation training for a crew' member of claim 15, wherein the virtual reality fidelity comprises a virtual reality head-mounted display and virtual reality gloves.

17. The method of simulation training for a crew member of claim 15, wherein the glass cockpit fidelity comprises the use of a touchscreen display, wherein a user uses touchscreen finger gestures to actuate a control. 18 The method of simulation training for a crew member of claim 15, wherein the high fidelity comprises a three-dimensional hardware replication of a control and an indicator.

19. The method of simulation training for a crew member of claim 13, further comprising a plurality of interconnected training simulators for a plurality of crew members representing a single vehicle.

20. The method of simulation training for a crew member of claim 19, further comprising a plurality of networked training simulators representing a plurality of vehicles at a platoon or multiple-platoon level, wherein the interconnected training simulators are configured to interoperate via a distributed interactive simulation standard.

AMENDED CLAIMS

received by the International Bureau on 20 February 2020 (20.02.2020)

WHAT IS CLAIMED IS;

1. A mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system comprising: a transportable shipping container comprising a coupled integrated common base frame; the transportable shipping container further comprising a pedestal pole, a seat base, and a seat, wherein the pedestal pole is configured to couple the seat base to the seat; the integrated common base frame further coupled to an integrated universal mount tower, wherein the integrated universal mount tower is configured to be pivoted into an upright auto- lockable position; and the integrated universal mount tower comprising an upper universal mount and a lower universal mount, wherein the upper universal mount is configured to accept from a plurality of vehicle variant-specific upper assemblies and the lower universal mount is configured to accept from a plurality of vehicle variant-specific lower assemblies.

2. The mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system of claim 1, wherein the transportable shipping container is configured in a clam-shell configuration wherein when opened the integrated common base frame, integrated universal mount tower and seat base are contained in a bottom portion of the transportable shipping container and wherein a top portion of the transportable shipping container is removable.

3. The mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system of claim 1, wherein the integrated common base frame and integrated universal mount tower are configured with a plurality of built in locking mechanisms wherein setup of the mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system is accomplished without tools.

4. The mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system of claim 1, wherein the integrated universal mount tower is configured to slide on the integrated common base frame towards and away from a user.

5. The mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system of claim 1, wherein each of the plurality of vehicle variant-specific low¾r assemblies are configured to auto-lock into place in the lower universal mount without using tools.

6. The mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system of claim 1, wherein the upper universal mount is configured with upper universal mount holes , wherein each of the plurality of vehicle variant- specific upper assemblies are configured with mounting pegs that slide down into the upper universal mount holes without using tools.

7. The mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system of claim 6, wherein each of the plurality of vehicle variant-specific upper assemblies and vehicle variant-specific lower assemblies are each separately configurable to operate in a plurality of fidelities.

8. The mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system of claim 7, wherein the plurality of fidelities comprise a virtual reality fidelity, a glass panel fidelity, and a high fidelity.

9. The mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system of claim 1, wherein the seat base is replaced by a substantially non-rotatable sensing platform and a support assembly, wherein the substantially non-rotatable sensing platform is configured to support a standing user that leans against the support assembly.

10. The mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system of claim 7, wherein each of the plurality of vehicle variant-specific upper assemblies and the vehicle variant-specific lower assemblies each contain electronic components and are configured to communicate with a modular transportable computer control station.

11. The mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system of claim 1, further comprising a standalone instructor operator system comprising an enclosed clam-shell transportable shipping container coupled to an integrated common base frame, wherein the integrated common base frame is further coupled to an integrated universal mount tower and wherein the integrated universal mount tower is configured to be pivoted into an upright auto-lockable position.

12. The mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system of claim 11, further comprising a standalone modular, transportable computer system comprising software and curriculum to support both the mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system and the instructor operator system with a plurality of vehicle -specific training options.

13. A method of simulation training for a crew member, the method comprising: setting up a trainer simulator including opening a transportable shipping container, wherein the transportable shipping container includes a coupled integrated common base frame and a universal mount tower, the universal mount tower comprising an upper universal mount and a lower universal mount, w'herein the upper universal mount is configured to accept from a plurality of vehicle variant-specific upper assemblies and the lower universal mount is configured to accept from a plurality of vehicle variant-specific lower assemblies; assembling a seat by coupling a pedestal pole to a seat base coupled to the integrated common base frame and coupling the seat to the top of the pedestal pole; and pivoting the universal mount tower from a horizontal position to a vertical position wherein the universal mount tower auto-locks into position.

14. The method of simulation training for a crew member of claim 13, the method further comprising; delivering a first ground vehicle based weapon system training to a user comprising a continuum of human interface fidelities comprising a first fidelity followed by delivering a second ground vehicle based weapons system training to a user comprising a second fidelity.

15. The method of simulation training for a crew' member of claim 14, wherein the first fidelity and the second fidelity Eire either a virtual reality fidelity, a glass cockpit fidelity, or a high fidelity, wherein the first fidelity is not the same as the second fidelity.

16. The method of simulation training for a crew member of claim 15, wherein the virtual reality fidelity comprises a virtual reality head-mounted display and virtual reality gloves.

17. The method of simulation training for a crew member of claim 15, wherein the glass cockpit fidelity comprises the use of a touchscreen display, wherein a user uses touchscreen finger gestures to actuate a control.

18. The method of simulation training for a crew member of claim 15, wherein the high fidelity comprises a three-dimensional hardware replication of a control and an indicator.

19. The method of simulation training for a crew' member of claim 13, further comprising a plurality of interconnected training simulators for a plurality of crew7 members representing a single vehicle.

20. The method of simulation training for a crew' member of claim 19, further comprising a plurality of networked training simulators representing a plurality of vehicles at a platoon or multiple-platoon level, wherein the interconnected training simulators are configured to interoperate via a distributed interactive simulation standard.

Description:
PORTABLE AND TOOLLESS MISSION RECONFIGURABLE TRAINER

This invention relates to a simulation-based training system for individuals, crews, platoons and higher-level unit collections of vehicles on the usage of ground vehicles and ground vehicle-based weapon systems.

[0002] As understood in this document, a simulation system is a physical structure in which real people and objects may move, change location, and possibly interact with each other. Further, these objects may interact with simulated people and objects, whose presence may be enacted via visual projections, audio emissions, or other means, typically in order to train for, prepare for, experience, analyze, or study real-life, potentially real-life, historical, or hypothetical situations, activities, or events. Simulations may be conducted for other purposes as well, such as educational or entertainment purposes, or for analyzing and refining the design and performance of mechanical technologies (such as transportation vehicles, weapons systems, etc.). The simulation as a whole may also be understood to include any technology that may be necessary or desirable to implement a simulation environment or simulation experience.

[0003] Realistic simulations of events play a key role in many fields of human endeavor, from the training of police, rescue, military, and emergency personnel; to the development of improved field technologies for use by such personnel; to the analysis of human movement and behavior in such fields as athletics and safety research increasingly, modern simulation environments strive for a dynamic, adaptive realism, meaning that the simulation environment can both provide feedback to individuals in the environment and can modify the course of the simulation itself in response to events within the simulation environment.

[0004] Simulation training can be conducted using a variety of fidelities ranging from a physical embodiment of a particular gauge to a virtual reality rendering of that same gauge. The level of required fidelity to train an individual is dependent upon the individual’s level of training and the particular instrument, vehicle, or weapon in use. Further, different levels of fidelity may be required at different levels of training. The most effective level of fidelity that should be used in a simulation training system are based on the tasks and skill being trained and the standard to which they are evaluated.

BRIEF SUMMARY

[0005] Given the foregoing, what is needed is a method and system for providing a ground vehicle based weapon simulation training system that is adaptable and reconfigurable with multi-level fidelities. Further, the simulation system must be capable of easy setup and modification to present multi-level fidelities for effective training. The system is portable and requires no tools to setup.

[0006] In an embodiment of the present disclosure, a mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system is presented. The system includes a transportable shipping container that houses and contains an integrated common base frame. The transportable shipping container also contains a pedestal pole a seat base and a seat, wherein the pedestal pole is placed into the seat base and the seat snaps into the pedestal pole. An integrated universal mount tower is attached to the integrated common base frame and is unfolded by a user to auto-lock into an upright position. The integrated universal mount tower includes an upper universal mount and a lower universal mount. The mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system needs no tools to be setup and used. Further, the mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system remains in the transportable shipping container during use.

[0007] According to an embodiment, a mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system is presented that includes vehicle variant-specific assemblies. A lower vehicle variant- specific assembly is coupled to a lower universal mount and an upper vehicle variant- specific assembly is coupled to the upper universal mount. The upper and lower vehicle variant-specific assemblies each are configured to operate in one of three fidelities. [0008] According to another embodiment, there is provided a method of simulation training for a crew member. The method includes setting up a trainer simulator including opening a transportable shipping container, wherein the transportable shipping container includes a coupled integrated common base frame and a universal mount tower. The method includes assembling a seat by inserting a pedestal pole into a seat base coupled to the integrated common base frame and inserting a seat into the pedestal pole. The method further includes pivoting the universal mount tower fro a horizontal position to a vertical position wherein the universal mount tower auto-locks into position.

[0009] in an embodiment, a method of simulation training for a crew member includes delivering ground vehicle based weapon system training to a user using a continuum of human interface fidelities that includes a first and a second fidelity, wherein the user is first delivered training at a first fidelity and then at a second fidelity, where the first fidelity is not the same as the second fidelity.

[0010] Further features and advantages of the present invention, as well as the structure and operation of various embodiments of tire present invention, are described in detail below with reference to the accompanying drawings it is noted that the present invention is not limited to the specific embodiments described herein. Such embodiments are presented herein for illustrative purposes only. Additional embodiments will he apparent to persons skilled in the relevant art(s) based on the teachings contained herein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS/FIGURES

[0011] The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated herein and form part of the specification, illustrate the present invention and, together with the description, further serve to explain the principles of the present invention and to enable a person skilled in the relevant art(s) to make and use the present invention.

[0012] Additionally, the left-most digit of a reference number identifies the drawing in which the reference number first appears (e.g., a reference number’310’ indicates that the element so numbered is first labeled or first appears in FIG. 3). Additionally, elements which have the same reference number, followed by a different letter of the alphabet or other distinctive marking (e.g., an apostrophe), indicate elements which are the same in structure, operation, or form but may be identified as being in different locations in space or recurring at different points in time (e.g., reference numbers“110a” and“110b” may indicate two different input devices which are functionally the same, but are located at different points in a simulation arena).

[0013] FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a computer server or system in accordance with embodi ments that can implement any of the disclosed components herein.

[0014] FIG. 2 illustrates a collapsed stage of a mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system, according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0015] FIG. 3 illustrates a partially extended stage of a mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system, according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0016] FIG. 4 illustrates a fully extended stage of a mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system, according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0017] FIGs. 5A, 5B and 5C illustrate a lower universal mount and an upper universal mount, according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0018] FIGs. 6 A and 6B depict multiple upper and lower vehicle variant-specific assemblies with computer system module and an instructor station, according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0019] FIG. 7 depicts a mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system within its shipping container, according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0020] FIG. 8 depicts a flowchart of a method of simulation training for a crew member, according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0021] Further embodiments, features, and advantages of the present invention, as well as the operation of the various embodiments of the present invention, tire described below with reference to the accompanying figures.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0022] While embodiments described herein are illustrative embodiments for particular applications, it should be understood that the invention is not limited thereto. Those skilled in the art with access to the teachings provided herein will recognize additional modifications, applications, and embodiments within the scope thereof and additional fields in which the invention would be of significant utility.

[0023] The embodiments described herein are referred in the specification as ‘One embodiment,” “an embodiment,” “an example embodiment,” etc. These references indicate that the embodiment(s) described can include a particular feature, structure, or characteristic, but every embodiment does not necessarily include every described feature, structure, or characteristic. Further, when a particular feature, structure, or characteristic is described in connection with an embodiment, it is understood that it is within the knowledge of one skilled in the art to affect such feature, structure, or characteristic in connection with other embodiments whether or not explicitly described.

[0024] As used herein, the term“crew” or“crew member” refers to operation by a trainee

(i.e., a human) of a weapon mounted in or on a vehicle, vessel or frame (e.g., a car, track, boat, ship, fixed-wing aircraft, rotary- wing aircraft, etc.). The ter “weapon” refers to any gun or rifle; grenade or rocket launcher; water cannon; acoustic, light or laser weapon; or other weapon for which operational training is desired. A“weapon mock-up” is a proxy weapon for use in a simulation. A“weapon mock-up” may he structurally identical (or similar) and/or functionally identical (or similar) to the actual weapon for which training/simulation is desired.

[0025] Fig. 1 is a block diagram of a computer server system 100 in accordance with embodiments that can implement any of the disclosed components herein. As shown in Fig. 1, computer server system 100 may include a bus 112 and/or other communication mechanism(s) configured to communicate information between the various components of computer server system 100, such as a processor 122 and a memory 114. In addition, a communication device 120 may enable connectivity between processor 122 and other devices by encoding data to be sent from processor 122 to another device over a network, such as Internet/cloud 110, and decoding data received from another system over the network for processor 122. Processor 122 may also communicate with devices such as an instructor/operator system 145 directly through communication device 120, or via Internet/cloud 110 to modular crew trainer simulators 135 and 140.

[0026] In another example, communication device 120 may include a network interface card that is configured to provide wireless network communications. A variety of wireless communication techniques may be used including infrared, radio, Bluetooth®, Wi-Fi, and/or cellular communications. Alternatively, communication device 120 may be configured to provide wired network connection(s), such as an Ethernet connection.

[0027] In one embodiment, computer server system 100 includes processor 122 and other components communicating through Internet/cloud 110, or any other communication medium, to an electronic device such as a smartphone, tablet, etc. Instructor/operator system 145 can include a user interface that enables interaction by a user. Instmctor/operator system 145 may include device drivers that enable software applications to interface with hardware devices in an example embodiment of a Instmctor/operator system 145 having a touch screen, instructor/operator system 145 may include a device driver to recognize and translate user input gestures into commands or signals capable of being used by applications. An input device interface may interface with the touch screen device driver of instructor/operator system 145 to receive user touch screen gestures. Instmctor/operator system 145 can also include its own processor, memory, etc. In one embodiment, instmctor/operator system 145 implements a browser and communicates using Hypertext Markup Language (“HTML”) to the remainder of computer server system 100, which functions as a web server and provides web pages to Instructor/operator system 145 either directly or indirectly (i.e., through communication with one or more other web servers). In another embodiment, instmctor/operator system 145 communicates with server 130 that can also function as a web server and storage medium that provides data and/or web pages to instructor/operator system 145. Any of the communications can also be encrypted such as an encrypted cloud connection or an encrypted internet connection.

[0028] Processor 122 may include one or more general or specific purpose processors to perform computation and control functions of computer server system 100. Processor 122 may include a single integrated circuit, such as a micro processing device, or may include multiple integrated circuit devices and/or circuit boards working in cooperation to accomplish the functions of processor 122. In addition, processor 122 may execute computer programs, such as an operating system 115, a data entry module 116, and application 118, stored within memory 114.

[0029] Computer server system 100 may include memory 1 14 for storing information and instructions for execution by processor 122. Memory 114 may contain various components for retrieving, presenting, modifying, and storing data. For example, memory 114 may store software modules that provide functionality when executed by processor 122. The modules may include an operating system 115 that provides operating system functionality for computer server system 100. The modules can include an operating system 115, data entry module 116 configured to provide data entry via a user interface, and all other functionality disclosed herein, as well as other additional functionality modules, such as application 118. [0030] Memory 114, being non-transitory, may include a variety of computer-readable medium that may be accessed by processor 122. For example, memory 114 may include any combination of random access memory (“RAM”), dynamic RAM (“DRAM”) static RAM (“SRAM”), read only memory (“ROM”), flash memory, cache memory, and/or any other type of non-transitory computer-readable medium.

[0031] Computer server system 100 may further include a keyboard 126 and a cursor control device 128, such as a computer mouse, to enable a user to interface with computer server system 100. Computer server system 100 further may include a database 117 coupled to bus 1 12 to provide centralized storage for data entry module 116 and application 118 and to store, for example. Point Of Service data as well as data for displaying the UI widget for date entry, customer data, etc. Database 117 can store data in an integrated collection of logically -related records or files. Database 117 can be an operational database, an analytical database, a curriculum database, a data warehouse, a distributed database, an end-user database an external database, a navigational database, an in-memory database, a document- oriented database, a real-time database, a relational database, an object-oriented database, or any other database known in the art. Further, any or all of the databases can be an encrypted database.

[0032] Although shown as a single system, the functionality of computer server system

100 may be implemented as a distributed system. For example, memory 114 and processor 122 may be distributed across multiple different computers that collectively make up computer server system 100 As pre viously disclosed. Instructor/operator system 145 is generally a mobile system that may be remotely located from the remainder of computer server system 100, which functions as a web server. Further, one or more components of computer server system 100 may not be included. For example, for functionality as a user or consumer device, computer server system 100 may be a smartphone or other wireless device that includes a processor, memory, and a display, does not include one or more of the other components shown in Fig. 1, and includes additional components not shown in Fig 1, such as an antenna, transceiver, or any other suitable wireless device component.

[0033] Figure 2 illustrates a collapsed stage of a mission reconfigurabie trainer simulation system 200, according to an embodiment. Mission reconfigurabie trainer simulation system 200 includes an illustration 210 where the system is in a collapsed state. Mission reconfigurabie trainer simulation system 200 also includes views 220 and 230 that illustrate a mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system where the integrated shipping container is not shown.

[0034] Illustration 210 includes a common base frame 210-1 , an integrated universal mount tower 210-2, a seat base 210-3 and a shipping container consisting of a shipping container top 210-4 and a shipping container bottom 210-5.

[0035] Shipping container top 210-4 and shipping container bottom 210-5 close for shipping and handling purposes. In an embodiment, shipping container top 210-4 and shipping container bottom 210-5 are designed in a clam-shell configuration that are opened to reveal common base frame 210-1, integrated universal mount tower 210-2, seat base 210-3 and a seat (not shown). This is possible as common base frame 210-1 and integrated universal mount tower 210-2 are coupled and pivoted to collapse for transport within shipping container top 210-4 and shipping container bottom 210-5.

[0036] View 220 shows a perspective view of a mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system 200, according to an embodiment. View '' 220 highlights the placement of the various components of mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system 200 within a shipping container, such as shipping container top 210-4 and shipping container bottom 210-5. View 220 illustrates common base frame 220-1, an integrated universal mount tower 220-2, a seat base 220-3, a seat 220-4 and a seat pedestal 220-5.

[0037] View' 230 shows a side view of a mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system

200, according to an embodiment. View' 230 highlights how mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system 200 can be stored and setup without the use of tools. View 230 illustrates co on base frame 230-1, an integrated universal mount tower 230-2, a seat base 230-3, a seat 230-4 and seat pedestal 230-5. In an embodiment, integrated universal mount tower 230-2 actually consists of mount tower 230-2A, a set of pivoting support arms 230-2B that are mounted to tower base 230-2C that rests on common base frame 230-1. Further, tower base 230-2C can slide back and forth along common base frame 230-1 allowing a user to adjust the distance between the user and the integrated universal mount tower 230-2.

[0038] Figure 3 illustrates a partially extended/collapsed stage of a mi sion reconfigurable trainer simulation system 300, according to an embodiment. Figure 3 illustrates a perspective view' 310 and a side view' 320 of mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system 300. [0039] View 310 illustrates common base frame 310-1, an integrated universal mount tower 310-2, a seat base 310-3, a seat 310-4 and seat pedestal 310-5. In an embodiment, integrated universal mount tower 310-2 actually consists of mount tower 310-2A, a set of pivoting support arms 310-2B-1 and 310-2B-2 that are mounted to tower base 230-201 and 230-2C-2 that both rest on common base frame 310-1.

[0040] integrated universal mount tower 310-2 is extended into the partially extended/collapsed position shown in view 310 by a user applying an upward/downward force to integrated universal mount tower 310-2, such as gripping mount tower 310-2A. The extension or collapsing of mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system 300 is accomplished without the use of tools. Further, once integrated universal mount tower 310-2 is fully opened, as is shown in Figure 4, the mechanism automatically locks into place.

[0041] View 320 illustrates common base frame 320-1 , an integrated universal mount tower 320-2, a seat base 320-3, a seat 320-4 and seat pedestal 320-5. In an embodiment, integrated universal mount tower 320-2 actually consists of mount tower 310-2A, a set of pivoting support arms 310-2B that are mounted to tower base 230-2C that are coupled to common base frame 320-1.

[0042] Figure 4 illustrates a fully extended stage of a mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system 400, according to an embodiment. Figure 4 illustrates a perspective view 410 and a side view 420 of mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system 400.

[0043] View 410 illustrates common base frame 410-1, an integrated universal mount tower 410-2, a seat base 410-3, a seat 410-4 and seat pedestal 310-5. In an embodiment, integrated universal mount tower 410-2 actually consists of mount tower 410-2A, a set of pivoting support arms 410-2B-1 and 410-2B-2 that are mounted to tower base 410-2C-1 and 410-2C-2 that both rest on common base frame 410-1.

[0044] Integrated universal mount tower 410-2 is fully extended into an upright auto- lockable position as shown in view 410. The extension or collapsing of mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system 400 is accomplished without the use of tools. Further, once integrated universal mount tower 410-2 is fully opened, as is shown in Figure 4, the mechanism automatically locks into place.

[0045] View 410 also illustrates the use of a lower universal mount 410-2D and an upper universal mount 410-2E. Lower universal mount 410- 2D and an upper universal mount 410-2E accept modular upper and lower variant kits for use in training an individual crew ' member in a ground vehicle based weapon system. A lower variant kit is mounted, without tools, to lower universal mount 410-2D. An upper variant kit is mounted via mounting pegs into upper universal mount 410-2E, also without the use of tools. View 410 also illustrates an assembled seat where a seat pedestal 410-5 is inserted into seat base 410-3 that is configured to couple with seat 410-4 and is attached to the top of seat pedestal 410-5.

[0046] The variant- specific kits are subdivided into upper and lower assemblies. These kit assemblies attach to the common base frame stand upper and lower universal mounts of each trainee crew position and are connected via cables back to the common computer systems for I/O. The universal mount design allows each common base to he configured with vehicle crewmember- specific kits to simulate and train a wide variety of combat vehicle platforms’ crew' positions. These variants include but are not limited to the following vehicle families: HMMWV, Stryker, Abrams M1A2, Bradley M2 A3, TWV and LAV. Examples of lower kits include: 1) IOS work surface with keyboard and mouse, 2) wheeled vehicle driver steering wheel, DVE control and foot pedals, 3) Stryker RWS weapon control grip. Examples of Upper kits include: 1) IOS operator touchscreen displays, 2) driver out the window' vie ' touchscreen display monitor with HMD VR- fidelity headset, 3) unstabalized gunner 50CAL weapon and pintle mount with HMD VR- fideiity headset. See below' for a more detailed description of the types and configurations of upper and lower assemblies used for a particular vehicle or weapon system.

[0047] View 420 illustrates common base frame 420-1, an integrated universal mount tower 420-2, an assembled seat consisting of a seat base 420-3, a seat 420-4 and seat pedestal 420-5. in an embodiment, integrated universal mount tower 420-2 actually consists of mount tower 420-2A, a set of pivoting support arms 420-2B that are mounted to tower base 420-2C that are coupled to common base frame 420-1.

[0048] Figures 5A, 5B and 5C illustrate upper and lower variant kit mounts of a mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system 500, according to an embodiment. Specifically, Figure 5A show ' s an upper universal mount 510-2E (left side shown) which contain holes into which an upper level variant kit 530 is inserted using mounting peg 530-1. The connection between upper level variant kit 530 and upper universal mount 510 does not require the use of any tools. [0049] Similarly, Figure 5B shows a lower universal mount 510-2D (right side shown) onto which a lower level variant kit 540 is attached without the use of any tools. Figure 5C, in an embodiment, illustrates connectors 550B and 560B on lower level variant kit 540 and upper level variant kit 530. Connector 550-B carries data while connector 560-B shows a standard 120 volt connection. The 120 volt connector is shown as an example, but could be of any standard, or customized, plug configuration, e.g., International. Also shown is power cord 560-A that plugs into connector 560-B and data cable connector 550- A that connects into connector 550-B. The variant kits are designed with a single power and a single data connector to ease setup and do not require the use of tools.

[0050] Figures 6A and 6B illustrate multiple upper and lower vehicle variant-specific assemblies with a computer system module and an instructor station, according to an embodiment. Fig. 6A illustrates a mission reconfigurable trainer simulation system prior to customization of the individual crew member stations. Fig. 6A depicts an instructor/operator station (IOS) 610 (a modular transportable computer control station), a computer module 615 and three crew ' member stations 620-1, 620-2 and 620-3. IOS 610 is used to monitor and control the curriculum associated with crew member stations 620. IOS 610 is also used to control interaction with other simulation training, such as at the squad or platoon level. IOS 610 is its own standalone system that can be used with any configuration of crew' member stations.

[0051] Computer module 615 connects to each of the crew member stations 620.

Computer module 615 isolates the necessary computer processing for control of the crew member stations 620 into a single point and is capable of supporting multiple types of vehicle variant-specific assemblies. This is done to avoid having to reconfigure each vehicle variant-specific assembly as would be required if each crew station was configured with its own computational unit. Thus, while different variant kits can be configured with each crew station, all of the variant kits are supported by the single computational unit, computer module 615. Thus, in an embodiment, a single crew' member simulation trainer configuration would require IOS 610 and computer module 615 in addition to a single crew ' member station 620.

[0052] Fig. 6B is an example configuration consisting of instructor/operator workstation

IOS 610, computer module 615, crew' member stations 620-1 , 620-2 and 620-3 and 625. Crew member stations 620-1, 620-2 and 620-3 all use a common base frame with a seat base, seat pedestal and seat. Further, each of the crew ' member stations 620 and 625 are configured with different upper and lower variant kits. For example, crew member station 620-1 is configured with upper variant kit 630 and lower variant kit 632. Crew member station 620-1 is also configured with foot pedals 634 in addition to an upper and lower variant kit. Crew member station 620-2 contains upper variant kit 640 and lower variant kit 642, while crew member station 620-3 contains upper variant kit 650 and lower variant kit 652.

[0053] Crew member station 625 contains upper variant kit 660, which in this example is a gunner’s position. Crew member station 625 also includes lower variant kit 662. However, crew member station 625 replaces the seat base, pedestal and seat with a support assembly 664 and a pressure plate 666, which is also referred to as a non- rotatable sensing platform. Support assembly 664 and pressure plate 666 replicates the rear edge of an unstabalized gunner’s turret ring and the floor of the turret, where in the real combat platform, the gunner would lean against the turret ring to get better leverage to actuate the pressure plate under their feet to slew the turret and have a good stable stance from which to fire the weapon. See, U.S Patent No. 9,330,577 issued May 3, 2016 and assigned to Kaydon Corporation.

[0054] Figure 7 illustrates a fully configured mission reconfigurab!e trainer simulation system 700, according to an embodiment. Figure 7 includes a common base frame 710-1, a universal mount tower 710-2, which consists of mount tower 710-2 A, a set of pivoting support arms 710-2B-1 and 710-2B-2 that are mounted to tower base 710-2C-1 and 710- 2C-2 that both rest on common base frame 710-1. Figure 7 also includes a seat base 710- 3, a seat 710-4 and a seat pedestal 710-5 where seat 710-4 is inserted and locked into seat pedestal 710-5 that is inserted into seat base 710-3. In an embodiment, the system also includes foot pedals 710-6. Also shown is grip 710-7 that allows universal mount tower 710-2 to slide to and from the seat assembly and user. In this example, lower variant kit 710-8 consists of a steering wheel and controls while upper variant kit 710-9 is a display screen. The system is configured to be operational while it is contained within the bottom portion of the shipping container, i.e., shipping container bottom 710-11. Upon removing lower variant kit 710-8, upper variant kit 710-9 and foot pedals 710-6, the remaining components can be collapsed into shipping container bottom 710-11 and shipping container top 710-10 that are then closed and can be wheeled away using integrated rollers in shipping container bottom 710-11. The shipping container with integrated rollers is designed to fit through a standard door opening and only requires two persons for lifting the system.

Portable and Tootess Assembly

[0055] The mission reconfigurahle trainer is designed to provide a completely tool-less, accomplished without tools, set up by a user as the trainer utilizes using built in locking mechanisms. The common base frame, e.g., common base frame 210-1, is built into its case such that it remains in the case when opened like a clam shell. After opening, the enclosed seat is installed by sliding the enclosed pedestal pole into the enclosed seat base attached to the com on base frame and placing the enclosed seat on the pedestal; both have locking clips and the seat height can be adjusted to fit the user’s personal build without the use of a tool. The universal mount tower is extended by grabbing the top bracket and pulling up until it locks into the upright position.

[0056] Once the universal mount tower is extended to an upright position, the universal mount tower has integrated upper and lower universal mounts that accept vehicle variant- specific assemblies. Further, the vehicle variant- specific lower assembly and vehicle variant-specific upper assembly auto-lock into place, thus negating the use of tools. As previously described, the upper universal mount has holes that accept variant-specific upper assemblies with mounting pegs that slide down into the upper universal mount holes. Once the upper and lower variants are attached, tire whole crew trainer ower can be pulled in / pushed back to the desired distance from the trainee using the tower grab handles, e.g., grip 710-7. The tower will not move however if pushed from the top or if inadvertently leaned upon. This design prevents unwanted tower movement during training or if an instructor or bystander leans on the tower assembly at any time. These common base kits with their universal mounts are used to configure all trainer operator and trainee positions to include an IOS operator, driver, commander/squad leader, gunner and gunner/loader. individual, Crew, Platoon , Company and Battalion Training

[0057] The mission reconfigurable trainer design accomplishes training through a continuum of levels or echelons of training curriculum and configurations. Training is provided at the individual gunner level, the integrated combat platform crew' level, the platoon level (2-4 vehicles), the company level (3-5 platoons). In addition, combined arms training can be accomplished through Distributed interactive Simulation (DIS) interoperation and coordination with other commercial simulation products to simulate aviation, close air support, artillery, surrounding and opposing forces.

[0058] The mission reconfigurable trainer provides individual training at the crew member level. For example, a driver or gunner can learn to operate the driver controls or gunner’s weapon system as an individual, without the participation of the other crew members. This individual training can deliver basic crewmember skills training and platform familiarity in a relatively low-stress environment. For a gunner,“trigger time” can be gained while becoming familiar with gunnery skills including target recognition, ranging and leading the target. Automated drivers and automated commanders help guide the gunner through a realistic training exercise.

[0059] The mission reconfigurable trainer provides crew-level training for the driver, commander/squad leader and gunner and gunner/loader crew members of the combat platform. 3-4 crew member stations are connected, depending on the vehicle variant being trained, to a mission reconfigurable trainer computer rack, e.g., computer module 615, and IOS, e.g., IQS 610, via cable systems. The IQS is used to start the crew exercise. The crew' will train as they fight using their intercom and radio to coordinate amongst the crew' members and instructor. The commander/squad leader commands the driver and assists the gunner in scanning for targets. The commander and gunner coordinate target detection, recognition, fires and kill confirmations. The crew learns to perform as a cohesive crew team to move, shoot and communicate.

[0060] The mission reconfigurable trainer provides platoon-level training, by allowing the networked connection of 3-5 crew trainers to form a platoon. The crew trainers can be configured with vehicle variant kits as the same vehicle type, or as a mixed vehicle types as needed. Any one of the IOSs may be selected to initiate and run the platoon exercise. The platoon is commanded by the designated platoon leader trainee, the vehicles coordinate via radio between vehicle and intercom within their vehicle crews. The team of trainees is trained to move in vehicle formations, coordinate fires and communicate as a cohesive platoon.

[0061] The mission reconfigurable trainer is designed to deploy and train in company sized networked configurations of 3-5 platoons. Vehicle type kits would be chosen to represent the desired task organization mix to meet the company or battalion training objectives. Main gun, wheeled combat, medical, command and logistics vehicles would likely be present, task organized to meet company and battalion mission training needs.

[0062] The mission reconfigurable trainer is also designed to interoperate via the distributed interactive simulation standard (DIS) with other commercial, external (non- mission reconfigurable trainer) simulation products to simulate aviation, close air support, artillery, surrounding and opposing forces. These external simulations provide additional training to tire mission reconfigurable trainer crews and commanders by servicing calls for close air support (CAS) and artillery fires (CFF). These functions are key to maneuver training and are accomplished through the open-source DIS standard interfaces built in to the mission reconfigurable trainer.

Fidelity Based Training

[0063] Training of an individual in the mission reconfigurable trainer is based on using a combination of various vehicle variant-specific assemblies where each assembly can utilize a different fidelity. Fidelity, as used within this application, does not simply refer to a“resolution” where a gauge could be displayed on a screen at a lower resolution, e.g., 320 x 200 pixels, or a medium resolution, e.g., 800 x 480 pixels, or a higher resolution, e.g., 1920 x 1200 pixels. Rather, fidelity is defined as a method of representation. For example a switch could be presented to a user through a heads up display with the ability to“virtually” touch the switch to turn it off or on. Or, the switch could be presented through a display with a touch sensitive surface. Or, the switch could be an actual physical switch that looks and feels like the“real” switch.

[0064] Different fidelities are used within the mission reconfigurable trainer system depending upon what skill set is being targeted for a user and in addition to the skill level of that individual. One method of training involves a multi-step training process that begins with a one type of fidelity and then progresses to a different type of fidelity based on the tasks and skills being trained. For example, an initial driver trainee should learn all the vehicle systems and switchology on a high fidelity trainer in an individual mode first. Later, as part of a crew, the trainee will need to execute basic driving commands like following a route, pulling into a firing position, taking evasive driving maneuvers and can do this with a lower fidelity driver training seat in a crew trainer.

[0065] In another example, a low level of fidelity using a specific set of upper and lower vehicle variant-specific assemblies where the user is presented with a particular concept. Once the user has mastered the first level using the low fidelity level, a set of vehicle variant-specific assemblies that support a higher second level of fidelity are used. This can easily be accomplished by removing the first level of vehicle variant-specific assemblies and replacing them with the second variant-specific assemblies that support the higher second level of fidelity. Once the user has mastered the second level a third level of variant-specific assemblies that support a high, third level of fidelity would he used.

[0066] The simulation training approach in the current disclosure is unique in that rather than determining the fidelity or mixture of fidelities for different controls of a particular training scenario being based on cost or design decisions, fidelities are used, as described in the above examples, as a progression or sequence of fidelity levels directed to a particular type of desired training. The presented systems and methods allow for an optimization of customized training for a particular sequence of learning.

[0067] The mission reconfigurable trainer design accomplishes training through a continuum of human interface fidelities to include multiple fidelities, 'which are defined as a virtual reality fidelity, a glass cockpit fidelity and high-fidelity. Because the mission reconfigurable trainer concept was designed to support training experimentation and effectiveness analysis, each of these human interface fidelities may be chosen, evaluated and used by the user’s training staff to train various aspects of the combat platforms’ maneuver and gunnery capabilities. Users can use one, two or ail three fidelities as needed to accomplish their training objectives. All software and curriculum are designed to operate in all fidelities. Further, each vehicle variant-specific lower and upper assembly is designed to support a specific fidelity level.

[0068] For example, the Virtual Reality (VR) Fidelity utilizes a virtual reality head- mounted display for the 360 degree visuals and virtual reality gloves for the hands. The trainees will see the inside of the vehicle’s crew position to include any controls and indicators as well as views through windows and viewports. The VR gloves are used to actuate active VR controls in the virtual view. The VR fidelity may be augmented with key physical controls that are critical to the trainee’s psycho-motor skills training; examples include steering wheels, gunner’s grips and triggers, remote weapons station (RWS) handles and the like. The VR fidelity is best used for initial familiarity with crew- position layout and activities. [0069] The glass panel fidelity is accomplished through the use of touchscreen displays.

The dash layout of the combat vehicle is rendered on these displays to include controls, indicators, displays and gauges. The trainee uses touchscreen finger gestures to actuate the controls, for example: turning a knob or lever to a particular position, of moving a toggle switch through multiple positions. The glass panel fidelity may also be augmented with key physical controls that are critical to the trainee’s psycho-motor skill training; examples include steering wheels, gunner s grips and triggers, remote weapons station (RWS) handles and the like.

[0070] The high fidelity is a traditional three-dimensional hardware replication of controls and indicators. The human interface controls and indicators necessary for training are replicated to closely approximate the shape, dimensions, relative locations throws, forces and functionality of the actual combat platform. This precision is very important for key controls in order to engrain the necessary psycho-motor skills through training repetition. Research has shown that it is this high-fidelity training repetition that produces repeatable and significant real-word platform proficiency increases.

[0071] Combinations of the types of fidelities and vehicle variant-specific assemblies are also dependent on the user’s role. For example is the user a driver, or a squad leader or a gunner, or a gunner/leader. Training for each position can be optimized by varying the type of vehicle variant-specific assemblies being used. On the other hand, the instructor/operator station tends to be configured in one way, e.g., a touchscreen display, radio control and headset for the upper assembly and a keyboard and mouse on a work surface for the lower assembly. Given these options, table 2 below illustrates possible configurations of upper and lower assemblies for different positions at each of the three discussed fidelities. Table 1 defines the referenced acronyms.

Table 1

Table 2

Methods

[0074] FIG. 8 shows an exemplary embodiment of a method 800 for simulation training of a crew member. Method 800 begins at step 805 with setting up a trainer simulator including opening a transportable shipping container, wherein the transportable shipping container includes a coupled integrated common base frame and a universal mount tower. For example, Figure 3 illustrates a partially extended/collapsed stage of a mission reconfigurabie trainer simulation system 300. View 310 illustrates common base frame 310-1, an integrated universal mount tower 310-2, a seat base 310-3, a seat 310-4 and seat pedestal 310-5. In an embodiment, integrated universal mount tower 310-2 actually consists of mount tower 310-2 A, a set of pivoting support arms 310-2B-1 and 310-2B-2 that are mounted to tower base 230-2C-1 and 230-2C-2 that both rest on common base frame 310-1.

[0075] Method 800 continues to step 810 with assembling a seat by inserting a pedestal pole into a seat base coupled to the integrated co n base frame. For example, in Figure 4, view 410 illustrates an assembled seat where a seat pedestal 410-5 is inserted into seat base 410-3 with seat 410-4 attached to the top of seat pedestal 410-5.

[0076] Method 800 continues with step 815, with the inserting a seat into the pedestal pole. In addition to Figure 4, Figure 7 also illustrates a seat base 710-3, a seat 710-4 and a seat pedestal 710-5 where seat 710-4 is inserted and locked into seat pedestal 710-5 that is inserted into seat base 710-3.

[0077] Method 800 continues to step 820, with pivoting the universal mount tower from a horizontal position to a vertical position wherein the universal mount tower auto-locks into position. For example, Figure 4 discloses a set of pivoting support arms 420-2B that are mounted to tower base 420-2C that are coupled to common base frame 420-1. In addition. Figure 3 illustrates where integrated universal mount tower 3 J 0-2 is extended into the partially extended/collapsed position shown in view' 310 by a user applying an upward/downward force to integrated universal mount tower 310-2, such as gripping mount tower 310-2A.

[0078] Method 800 continues with step 825, by delivering to a user, training at a first fidelity, and then at a second fidelity and then at a third fidelity. For example, as described above, one method of training involves a three step training process that begins with a low level of fideli ty using a specific set of upper and lower vehicle variant-specific assemblies where the user is presented with a particular concept

[0079] The summary and abstract sections may set forth one or more but not all exemplary embodiments of the present invention as contemplated by the inventor(s), and thus, are not intended to limit the present invention and the appended claims in any way.

[0080] Embodiments of the present invention have been described above with the aid of functional building blocks illustrating the implementation of specified functions and relationships thereof. The boundaries of these functional building blocks have been arbitrarily defined herein for the convenience of the description. Alternate boundaries can be defined so long as the specified functions and relationships thereof are appropriately performed.

[0081] The foregoing description of the specific embodiments will so fully reveal the general nature of the invention that others can, by applying knowledge within the skill of the art, readily modify and/or adapt for various applications such specific embodiments, without undue experimentation, without departing from the general concept of the present invention. Therefore, such adaptations and modifications are intended to be within the meaning and range of equivalents of the disclosed embodiments, based on the teaching and guidance presented herein. It is to be understood that the phraseology or terminology herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation, such that the terminology or phraseology of the present specification is to be interpreted by the skilled artisan in light of the teachings and guidance.

[0082] The breadth and scope of the present invention should not be limited by any of the above-described exemplary embodiments. [0083] Exemplary embodiments of the present invention have been presented. The invention is not limited to these examples. These examples are presented herein for purposes of illustration, and not limitation. Alternatives (including equivalents, extensions, variations, deviations, etc., of those described herein) will be apparent to persons skilled in the relevant art(s) based on the teachings contained herein. Such alternatives fall within the scope and spirit of the invention.