Redstone Report: Rollover training with simulation software

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - When it comes to designing training tool for soldiers, the Army Games Studio team doesn't play around. The studio is located in the Software Engineering Directorate Building on Redstone Arsenal.

One of the team's latest tools is the TRICT, or the Transportable Reconfigurable Integrated Crew Trainer. TRICT is a type of simulation training device.

Jay Olive, the Development Team Lead for America's Army explains how it works, " We can take almost any MRAP vehicle and simulate it on a motion platform and allow soldiers to experience what it's like to drive in the vehicle, see what the motions would be like, and to practice egress if they flip the vehicle."

Flipping is a major concern. MRAP's are very top heavy and tip very easy. Many times, the vehicles tip into rivers, trapping soldiers inside. TRICT is able to simulate that situation in a controlled environment.

Olive says, "We're able to simulate in our simulator water rising. We have blue LED's on the sides of the simulator so they have some sense of urgency."

It's important to train for these type of situations because if happens in real life and soldiers aren't prepared, it could be deadly. Olive explains what a rollover would be like for a solider, "It'll be completely dark, the doors are heavy, so it's very important for them to understand where the doors are when they're upside down, how to pop their belts because they have tons of gear on. They have to get out of the vehicle quickly and the simulator allows them to prepare for that."

Employees at the Army Games Studio produce the software that is used to display the images that are shown on screens positioned in the windows of the simulator. Those screens will display the terrain that the soldier might encounter on a mission in Iraq or Afghanistan.

To date, the team has only built 1 TRICT. They are currently working on creating a new one.

If soldiers have a say, this type of training will stick around. Olive got the chance to talk to some soldiers who used it after they deployed, " I got to talk to a few who rolled a vehicle like this and they said if they had a trainer like this before they went over there, it would have been a lot easier to get out."

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