Visual Aids Enhance Paratrooper Training

By Tiron, Roxana | National Defense, November 2002 | Go to article overview

Visual Aids Enhance Paratrooper Training


Tiron, Roxana, National Defense


Military services are increasing the use of parachute simulator to reduce injuries

In preparation for what would be a successful parachute jump in Yuma, Ariz., former President George H. W Bush trained in a simulator that gives paratroopers realistic perceptions of what actually happens during a mission.

The simulator, called Parasim, has been around for years, but recently has been upgraded to make it more portable and to meet new requirements of units such as the U.S. special operations forces.

Wearing a virtual-reality, head-mounted tracker and display, the trainee can scan a three-dimensional jump scene. The scenes can be based on real mission terrain digital data maps, and adjust in response to parachute toggle inputs and head motions.

The idea is for the trainee to get realistic perceptions of turning, drifting and maneuvering, for example. He can look overhead and react to simulated parachute malfunctions, scan in any direction to avoid collisions and conduct operations with other jumpers.

Jeff Hogue, the inventor of Parasim, said that this technology is useful for mission planning and rehearsal. Hogue works for the company that makes the trainer, Systems Technology Inc.

For military mission planning, the digital satellite imagery comes from the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, complete with wind fields, which reflect the location and forecast weather, said Hogue.

Hogue told National Defense that practicing how to deal with malfunctions in the parachute and unexpected scenarios can help minimize injuries and fatalities. Many of the jumpers do not get to train in the actual environment where they have to carry out their mission, said Hogue.

An accomplished jumper has to react to contingencies with a trained response, almost like a reflex, he said. And that is exactly what this simulator does: it injects as many failures as possible into the mission and teaches the jumpers how to quickly react and correct them, said Hogue. Operational parachutists usually have a reserve parachute, but aircrews who have to eject in an emergency, for example, sometimes have just one device.

Jumpers only have seconds to realize that their chute is malfunctioning, before they tumble to the ground at a speed of hundreds of feet per hour.

It is vital for a parachutist to properly be trained to check parachute deployment and controllability, to be able to identify specific malfunctions and immediately follow the required correction procedure, if necessary, said Hogue.

Harnesses, toggles and risers are in place in the simulator. But instead of having the actual parachute, once harnessed to the trainer, the jumpers have to wear the virtual reality head-mounted display that allows them to scan the scene.

"On the back of it is a tracker, which keeps track of where you look, and then the computer computes the proper image for the direction you are looking," Hogue explained. "That way, if you look up you can see your parachute; if you look down, you can see where you are. If you look around, you can find the other guys you are jumping with."

Parachutes deploy by pulling out the rip cords, said Hogue, so the parachute in the trainer "has rip cord capability, and when you pull on them, you get your parachute out." That action is simulated on the computer.

To teach trainees how to deal with faulty parachutes, he said, "We make them deliberately defective and you can correct it by pulling on the straps that you get suspended from. ... Up on top of the straps are sensors and those sensors know if they are being pulled down on. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Visual Aids Enhance Paratrooper Training
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.