November 5, 2021 – Charles River Analytics Inc., a developer of intelligent systems solutions, has this week announced that it has received funding from the US Army to create an advanced research prototype of Virtual Environment Collaboration Tools for Operational Readiness (VECTOR) augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) system.
According to the company, VECTOR uses synchronized virtual collaboration environments so that dispersed Mission Command personnel can collaboratively plan, rehearse, and execute missions. VECTOR helps to solve several problems faced by the US Army—Mission Command tasks are increasingly more difficult as global threats become more distributed, agile, and technologically advanced. Traditional and stationary command posts often suffer from degraded connectivity that limits communication and collaboration with distributed Mission Command personnel.
“Mission Commands are running into major issues when they try to plan complicated maneuvers without a shared workspace,” said Susan Latiff, Scientist at Charles River Analytics and Principal Investigator on the VECTOR effort. “VECTOR provides a cutting-edge environment where multiple officers can collaborate efficiently from different locations.”
Recently, Charles River Analytics led a demonstration and evaluation of a VECTOR prototype with the US Mission Command Battle Lab (MBCL), wherein more than 55 concurrent users were able to connect to a virtual collaboration environment and interact across a virtualized 3D battlefield sand table. The company stated that users felt positively about VECTOR and were able to work with all of its features, even with purely remote instruction. Charles River Analytics added that participants reported VECTOR would be helpful in Mission Command and provided insights that the team at Charles River Analytics will use to polish the prototype’s features.
VECTOR offers Commanders and Soldiers an open and extensible network and application architecture that supports dispersed Mission Command through synchronized virtual collaboration environments. As a result, with VECTOR Army Commanders will be able to clearly communicate their intent and objectives to empower subordinates to achieve mission objectives. Commanders and Soldiers can both join VECTOR’s virtual environments through XR, mobile, and desktop applications. Once connected to a session, personnel can access a suite of collaboration tools that center on a 3D geospatial battlefield common operating picture.
Charles River Analytics stated that the VECTOR system has helped to advance the company’s understanding of virtual collaboration and data visualization in mixed reality. Overall, the VECTOR platform is able to augment Commanders’ situational understanding, allowing them to support Mission Command across networks and co-locations.
The company did not disclose the contract value. For more information on Charles River Analytics and its XR solutions for virtual collaboration, please visit the company’s website.
Image credit: Charles River Analytics