US Army receives first 20 IVAS headset prototypes from Microsoft
The US Army accepted delivery of the first 20 prototypes of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) 1.2 variant.
The milestone is the latest step in the process of getting the latest version of the situational awareness system into the hands of soldiers.
Microsoft delivered the 20 prototypes to Project Manager Soldier Warrior (PM SWAR), the programme office within the Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier responsible for overseeing the development of IVAS.
IVAS is a single platform that features an all-weather fighting goggle and a mixed-reality head-up display (HUD) that integrates next-generation situational awareness tools and high-resolution simulations to provide soldiers with improved mobility in all visibility conditions. IVAS is set to provide soldiers with a single device to fight, rehearse and train.
‘This is a really big deal for the programme,’ said Col Anthony Gibbs, PM SWAR. ‘A little over a year ago, we did an operational test with version 1.0 of the system. We learned a lot. We got a lot of good soldier feedback. So last summer we came back and restructured the programme.
‘We took those lessons learned and all that soldier feedback and in less than a year have what we now call version 1.2 of the system.’
Soldiers and squads will use IVAS to gain a fuller understanding of their operational environment. Its enhanced low-light and thermal sensors improve target identification.
IVAS integrates with ground and air platform sensors, allowing soldiers to see outside vehicles before dismounting into a hazardous situation. IVAS provides 3D mapping and navigation capabilities and can ingest data from UAS.
The system’s embedded training tool, the Squad Immersive Virtual Trainer (SiVT), also provides soldiers with objective-based scenarios and battle drills through holographic and mixed-reality (MR) imagery, giving units the flexibility to train their squads with minimal resources.
IVAS 1.2 builds and improves on the capabilities of previous versions (1.0 and 1.1). Specifically, IVAS 1.2 incorporates reliability upgrades, features an improved low-light sensor, and introduces a new form factor with a lower profile HUD with a distributed counterweight for an improved user interface and comfort.
IVAS 1.2 also has the capability to attach to a combat helmet with a ‘hinged’ device to allow soldiers to raise and lower the display, similar to traditional night vision goggles.
The 20 prototypes will be featured at a user assessment in August, during which two squads of soldiers will use IVAS 1.2 to measure the system’s performance and ensure engineering efforts are on schedule and meeting design objectives.
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