The US Army Is Testing AR Tech For Armored Vehicles

The IVAS system offers 360-degree situational awareness on the battlefield.

Last month the United States Army conducted a two-day demonstration of its Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) being used in tandem with its Stryker armored vehicles, offering everyone from the drivers to the passengers 360-degree situational awareness on the battlefield.

Powered by Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 mixed reality headset, the IVAS system is designed to improve a soldier’s situational awareness by displaying key information such as the locations of enemy and friendly forces as well as GPS directions over the real-world environment.

Cameras mounted on the outside of the Stryker Armored Vehicle connect to each soldier’s HoloLens 2 headsets, offering passengers a full understanding of their environment while remaining safely inside the vehicle.

“The major new technologies we’re experimenting with today are the Tactical Scalable MANET waveform, which is bringing data down to the forward tactical edge to the dismounted Soldiers and to the vehicles, and connecting those systems together so that everybody has awareness of where the others are,” said David Morris, Ph.D. and lead network engineer for MITRE Corporation’s Army Platforms Division in an official release.

“You can send messages, lay down graphic overlays, mission data, et cetera, so that you’ve got better capability that previously was only available up at the command post.”

During the event, a platoon task force accompanied by five Stryker armored vehicles conducted a simulated urban raid mission that involved the transportation of infantry soldiers. Normally, an operation of this scale would require a company-sized force. Thanks to the IVAS system, however, smaller groups can perform more complex operations without skipping a beat.

“The other piece we’re adding is 360-degree situational awareness,” added Morris. “We’ve added a variety of cameras to supplement the existing vehicle cameras. So instead of just having the gun camera and the relatively small forward and reverse cameras, now we’ve got high-end cameras all the way around the vehicle with both day and night vision.”

“The Soldiers wearing the new IVAS technology are able to use those cameras and access them while they’re en route to mission. Instead of staring at a blank steel wall, they can keep up with what’s going on around the vehicle. They can also switch to a tactical map mode so they can see what’s going on around their broader mission area.”

For more information on the IVAS system and its use with Stryker armored vehicles visit here.

Image Credit: U.S. Army photo by Spc. Chandler Coats, 5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

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Former Writer (Kyle Melnick)

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