MAGPIE: a game-based, virtual fighter aircraft maintenance training

A trainer that is currently being adapted for the F-15E Strike Eagle.

Scientists developing game-based, virtual fighter aircraft maintenance training
The Air Force SBIR/STTR Program supported development of a virtual aircraft maintenance trainer that is currently being adapted for the F-15E Strike Eagle. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Mitchell Lichtenwald)

A Massachusetts-based company is building a virtual aircraft maintenance trainer for the Air Force that would allow for larger class sizes and troubleshooting scenarios that are difficult to present in a traditional live setting.

Scientists named it as MAGPIE – which stands for Maintenance Training Based on an Adaptive Game-based Environment Using a Pedagogic Interpretation Engine. It will be a mix of wise coaching, amusement based virtual preparing and instinctive situation altering. Up to 20 understudies will have the capacity to be on the framework immediately.

With help from the Air Force Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Program, Charles River Analytics built up the fundamental programming and is refining it to give upkeep preparing to the F-15E Strike Eagle. The innovation consolidates high-determination designs with mechanized framework criticism to show complex upkeep systems. The organization is in the beginning periods of a two-year push to progress the innovation and the desires are that it will, in the long run, be appropriate to an airship.

Conventional support preparing routinely costs the administration as far as labor, upkeep, and updates, while being restricted to the static substance that does not address the requirements of learners with shifted aptitudes. Classes are ordinarily restricted to less than 10 understudies for every educator with access to just a solitary airship close to the flight line.

To hone a method, understudies alternate as the educator painstakingly sees keeping in mind the end goal to anticipate cataclysmic mix-ups that could harm the hardware. Notwithstanding understudies investing long stretches of energy watching each other, as opposed to executing methods, this setting makes it hard to delineate wide investigating situations.

By giving a virtual support mentor—even only for recognition preparing—educators can oversee more understudies, understudies can play out the strategies in parallel, and the framework can screen and address potential blunders without the worry for expensive framework harm.

Working with the Air Force Research Laboratory, Charles River Analytics collaborated with the Instructional Technology Unit at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas to comprehend its requirements for virtual support preparing on the F-15E.

Understudies utilizing MAGPIE will likewise get the chance to see things break, which is something that can’t without much of a stretch be recreated in live preparing, as indicated by Sean Guarino, a foremost researcher at Charles River Analytics. The framework incorporates a wise mentoring system that distinguishes understudies who require the most teacher help, and perceives and describes mistakes so understudies can concentrate on their individual adapting needs. Furthermore, the framework will incorporate a suite of creating apparatuses for course architects and educators to promptly expand as well as revamp preparing substance to enhance situations.

The effective finish of the underlying Air Force SBIR/STTR venture incorporated a model of MAGPIE. At the point when the change for the F-15 is finished, the organization hopes to have a full-scope astute virtual upkeep preparing apparatus that can be promptly adjusted to any vehicle or flying machine.

Achieving that point of reference will open an extensive variety of chances over the Department of Defense and business industry. Commercialization achievement, for example, that, is a basic benchmark for members in the Air Force SBIR/STTR Program as it cuts down expenses and gets innovation to the warfighter while fortifying the economy through private company development.

Mitchell Lichtenwald, a program lead in AFRL’s Airman Systems Directorate said, “This three-party collaboration is key in making progress toward something that has never before been accomplished in the maintenance field.”

“Currently, you have to go to the flight line to actually teach something like this. This new effort is really about helping the warfighter to train better.”