Army showcasing 3-D tools
- By George I. Seffers
- Nov 28, 2000
Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference
The Army is showcasing a suite of software and 3-D virtual reality tools
that enable engineers many miles apart to work closely in designing future
The technologies being demonstrated this week at the Interservice/Industry
Training, Simulation and Education Conference in Orlando, Fla., are known
collectively as the Advanced Collaborative Environment.
The ACE suite includes:
* The Cave Automatic Virtual Environment — Some Army officials have
called this an early version of the holodeck, a virtual reality environment
featured in the "Star Trek" TV shows and movies. The CAVE makes it possible
to see virtual objects in three dimensions. This enables engineers, program
managers, users and contractors around the world to work on a common project
in real time and in 3-D, even passing virtual tools to one another.
* Windchill — This software connects users to each other and to information
via the Internet, creating an instant network.
* Powerall — This visualization device facilitates interaction and participation.
The advantages of ACE technologies, according to Army officials, include
saving substantial time and money during the process of designing and engineering
a new vehicle or other equipment.
The Army will conduct two ACE demonstrations during the Orlando conference.
The first is a continuous demonstration of a typical interactive design
review session for a conceptual vehicle known as the Reconfigurable Armored
Vehicle. The concept is one of several for the Army's Future Combat Systems,
a family of vehicles central to the Army's transformation into a lighter,
The second demonstration features the Army's National Automotive Center
and its partners — Electronic Data Systems Corp., Silicon Graphics Inc.
and Multigen-Paradigm Inc. — in a real-time, collaborative simulation of
a typical review session that explores ergonomic considerations in the crew
compartment of a tank.