U.S. Air Force looking to procure Virtual Reality production equipment to create its own aircraft maintenance training program

In Virtual Reality News

June 11, 2020 – The 100th Maintenance Group (100 MXG), a division of the U.S. Air Force, is looking to procure virtual reality (VR)/video production equipment capable of recording, editing, and viewing self-created 360 degree video/audio, which will later be used to instruct approximately 16 students in a classroom setting 

The 100 MXG is accountable for aircraft & equipment maintenance, ensuring refueling operations, tactical airlift, special operations and command & control, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance readiness throughout the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) European Command, African Command and the Southwest Asian theaters.

The procurement would mark the beginning of the 360 VR training video program for the 100 MXG, and would allow training of up to 16 Airmen on several critical maintenance tasks in a classroom setting. By utilizing VR training, the DoD hopes that Maintainers will be trained more proficiently while minimizing Aircraft down time. The program will also help to minimize the impact of maintenance training on the U.S Air Force’s fleet. 

The work that will be completed under the contract will be to deliver and install the equipment needed for the 100 MXG training section to create its own in-house 360 VR video training products at the U.S Air Force’s base situated in RAF Mildenhall, in the United Kingdom.

The 100 MXG is looking to be provided with a complete system to include hardware and software, consisting of off-the-shelf and non-proprietary products, which can be used to create virtual training aids. The successful company will also need to assist in training users on utilization of any equipment provided, as well as warranty coverage and support as needed on the equipment.

The 100 MXG’s main list of desired equipment consists of, but is not limited to: 

  • Complete video editing computer workstations inclusive of all hardware, software, and software licenses necessary to perform the function of creating, editing, and managing a portfolio of training materials;
  • Software for creation and editing of the video shall be capable of creation of 360-degree video to be played in at least 16 virtual headsets simultaneously;
  • Cameras and equipment for the capture of 360-degree video in at least 1080p resolution, along with any carrying cases and equipment for safe transport in various environments to include wet weather environments, as well as mounts and tripods to enable capture of video in various environments, terrains, with support for lateral movement;
  • Camera and equipment for capture of high quality still photos;
  • Virtual reality headsets (HTC Vive Pro or equal) and equipment for the simultaneous training of up to 16 individuals within a virtual reality environment. Headsets should be able to run free of a WiFi or network connection, as well as require no computer connection;
  • Micro SD cards for headsets as well as a duplicator to create the same content for at least 16 headsets while still ensuring off network capabilities;
  • All cables and equipment for use to include interface with video editing workstations;
  • A storage cart capable of securing at least 16 headsets.

As is often the case with these sorts of Department of Defense government contracts, no budget has been specified at this time. The acquisition of services is also subject to the availability of funds. The deadline for responses to be submitted is Friday June 26, 2020. For more information on how to submit a quotation, please email contact@auganix.org.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force / Airman 1st Class Aaron Irvin

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.