Scanning the Super Galaxy – the largest aircraft in the U.S. Air Force, inside and out is no small feat.
From an article in the Daily Republic by Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman.
A team from Sketchbox Inc., an augmented and virtual reality prototyping company based in San Francisco, took six hours Sept. 6 to obtain multiple 3D scans of the C-5M Super Galaxy at Travis Air Force Base. The data will be used to create virtual reality scenarios to enhance training for mobility airmen.
“We scanned the entire C-5 using a laser scanner,” said Joe Connolly, Sketchbox Inc head of product. “We will take the scanned data, which is a collection of points in 3D called a point cloud, and merge it with other high-resolution images we collected. After the merge, the point cloud data combined with the image data, will enable us to create a 3D model of the C-5 that can be rendered in virtual reality.” Scanning the Super Galaxy was an honor.
“Once we have the model of the C-5, we will be able to use our VR design tools to make the model interactive and provide airmen with experiences as if they’re actually inside the C-5, such as opening doors or flipping switches,” Connolly said. “Over the next 11 months, we’ll work closely with the 60th Air Mobility Wing and the Travis Phoenix Spark Cell to build VR training simulations for the C-5.”
The idea of using VR to train C-5 crew members came from airmen assigned to the 22nd Airlift Squadron at Travis Air Force Base, said Capt. Joey Hinojosa, 22nd AS chief of C-5M wing aircrew training. He shared the concept with Travis’ Phoenix Spark Cell in April.
“We only have so much resources, money and manning,” Hinojosa said. “We have to effectively do everything we can to train our airmen so they can adapt to the mission and the constant changes that global mobility requires.”
One of those requirements is the possible deployment of emergency slides that allow people to exit the C-5 quickly and safely. When Hinojosa introduced the VR training idea, he said he did so with the emergency slide deployment in mind.
Most loadmasters haven’t actually deployed the emergency slide before and the training video currently used to show how to do that was produced in the 1980s, he said.
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