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I/ITSEC 2023: US Navy considers purchase of Vrgineers carbon fibre MR headset for V-22 pilots

28th November 2023 - 12:22 GMT | by Norbert Neumann in Orlando


The XTAL 3 CAVU uses a homegrown AI recognition layer alongside the image generator to increase image quality and reduce latency. (Photo: Norbert Neumann/Shephard)

The new Vrgineers carbon fibre XTAL 3 CAVU mixed-reality headset will attempt to address calculation bottlenecks via high-performance graphical chip and AI ahead of launch in 2024.

Czech Air Force fighter pilots and US Navy V-22 Osprey operators will be among the target customers for Vrgineers’ XTAL 3 CAVU (Ceiling and Visibility Unlimited) mixed reality (MR) headset, the company claimed at I/ITSEC 2023 in Orlando, Florida.

Vrgineers has used the military training and simulation conference to unveil its latest head-mounted display (HMD), which it has been working on with graphical chip makers AMD and NVIDIA.

According to its manufacturer, the MR device has been designed to eliminate calculation bottlenecks and bring mixed-reality technology to the forefront of the industry using 24Mpix image sensors connected to Xilinx FPGA PCIe16x cards via optical cables.

Vrgineers to showcase F-15E fighter simulator that could replace live training at IT2EC 2023

I/ITSEC 2023: Vrgineers launches new mixed-reality headset

CAVU also uses a homegrown AI recognition layer alongside the image generator, which the company claimed would enhance its image quality and reduce latency. Vrgineers started AI development for algorithm enhancement earlier this year, company CEO and co-founder Marek Polcak revealed to Shephard on the show floor at I/ITSEC 2023.

A large portion of the HMDs has been made using carbon fibre, offering a lightweight and durable design which would allow trainees to wear the device for extended periods of time without discomfort, according to Polcak.

CAVU will be first embedded only on the Vrgineers MR Classroom simulators that will allow the company to carry out additional card adjustments and fine-tuning, Polcak said. The solution will be available for purchase in 2024.

Talking to Shephard during the first day of the show, Polcak revealed that the Czech Air Force will be expected to become the first CAVU customer, ‘most likely under the F-35 delivery’, which Shephard reported on back in June 2023. 

He also claimed the US Navy was likely to purchase the device through the SBIR Phase II initiative. Polcak said the service could potentially acquire CAVU in the ‘low hundreds’, with initial use likely involving training V-22 Osprey pilots. No deal has been agreed upon yet, but discussions with the US Navy have been ongoing, he added.

Shephard's I/ITSEC 2023 coverage is sponsored by:

Norbert Neumann


Norbert Neumann

Norbert is the Aviation, Military Training & Simulation reporter at Shephard Media. Before joining Shephard in …

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