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AUGMENTED REALITY AND ITS MIITARY APPLICATIONS

 

 

ABSTRACT

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1.          Augmented Reality (AR) is a live
direct or indirect view of a physical, real world environment whose components
are augmented by a computer generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics
or GPS data. The technology functions by enhancing one’s current realization of
reality. Augmented reality is used in order to improve the experienced
environments or situations and to offer upgraded experiences. Initially, the
immersive augmented reality experiences were used in entertainment and game
businesses, but now other business industries are also getting interested about
AR’s possibilities for example in knowledge sharing, educating, managing the
information flood and organizing distant meetings. Augmented reality has a lot
of potential in gathering and sharing tacit knowledge which can also be used in
the Military. Augmentation techniques are typically performed in real time and
in semantic context with environmental elements, such as simulating a soldier
on ground by taking input as the grid reference of any location and displaying
it on the goggles mounted on his headgear (also known as Head Up Display).  What used
to be the reserve of the fighter pilots can be a kit component for the future
soldiers of the military.

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

 

2.          The genesis of the word augmented
is augment, which denotes to add or            enhance something. In the
case of Augmented Reality, graphics, sounds, and touch feedback  are  put
 into our natural world to build up an
upgraded user experience.   Unlike
virtual reality, which needs the user to inhabit a totally virtual environment,
 augmented  reality  exploits your  existing   natural  environment   and   simply
  overlays  virtual  information  on  top
of  it. As both real and virtual ecosystems
harmoniously coexist, the users of augmented reality get a feel of a new and enhanced
natural world where virtual information is used as a tool to provide assistance
in day to day activities. The Augmented reality can highlight certain features,
enhance understandings, and provide accessible and timely data. Cell phone application
and business applications by companies using augmented reality are a few of the
many applications driving augmented reality application development. The key
point is that the information provided is highly topical and relevant to what
the user wants to do.

 

HOW DOES AUGMENTED REALITY WORK?

 

 

3.          Augmented realities can be displayed
on numbers  of displays, from monitors
and screens, to handheld equipments or goggles. Google
Glass and other head-up displays (HUD) put augmented reality directly in front of
user’s eyes. Handheld equipments contain displays small in size that usually
fits in the user’s hands for example. smart phones and tablets. Further
research is being done on to provide the display till the retinal level e.g.
contact lenses.  Key Components to Augmented Reality Devices

(a)    Sensors and Cameras

(b)    Projection

(c)    Processing

(d) 
  Reflection

 

AUGMENTED REALITY IN THE MILITARY

 

 

4.          An interesting early application of
the augmented reality occurred when an application was developed which created
video map overlays of satellite and orbital debris tracks to aid in space
observations at Air Force Maui Optical System. The map overlays indicated the
trajectories of various objects in geographic coordinates.  This allowed telescope operators to identify
satellites, and also to identify and catalog potentially dangerous space
debris.

 

5.          Starting in 2003, the US Army
integrated the Smart Cam 3D augmented reality system into the Shadow Unmanned
Aerial System to aid sensor operators using telescopic cameras to  locate  manpower
 or  points  of  interest.
The system  combined  both  fixed
 geographic information including street
names, points of interest, airports, and railroads with live            video from the camera system. The  system  offered a “picture in picture” mode
that allows the

 

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system to show
a synthetic view of the area surrounding the camera’s field of view. This helps
to solve a problem in which the field of view is so narrow that it excludes
important context, as if “looking through a soda straw”. The system
displays real-time friend/foe/neutral location markers blended with live video,
providing the operator with improved situational awareness.

 

6.          In combat scenario, AR can work as a
networked communication system that transfers relevant battlefield information
directly onto a soldier’s goggles in real time. From the soldier’s viewpoint,
human beings and other objects can be marked with special signs  to notify of potential dangers. Virtual maps
and 360° view camera imaging can also be used 
to enhance  a soldier’s navigation
and battlefield perspective, and this can be transmitted to their commanders at
a remote operations room.

 

ON THE FROnT LINES

 

 

7.        There is no doubt that a finely processed
augmented reality experience will provide the military an upper hand in the
battlefield, but how.  An AR project can
examine any military vehicle (for example, an A vehicle) and immediately run a
comprehensive diagnostics test. Later it can provide the analysis and can show
the details of any kind of malfunctioning occurred in the vehicle.

 

8.        One of the most frequent  situations that take place in the combat
scenario is the demand for an expert when the equipment goes out of order or
needs another type of maintenance.  The
price of fetching an expert in can be huge, not to mention the critical time
and the tactical advantage which can be 
lost during the meantime. What if, in worst-case-scenarios, every
soldier of our military had the access to step-by-step instructions — anywhere,
anytime?  The Forward Repair Team will be
able to assist a soldier fighting at the front right at the moment his weapon
stops working and gets him into the battle within few minutes.  What a leap can the military take with just a
technology.

          

 

 

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In an AR based project , the repair
directions can be transmitted directly to the on-site combatants’ heads up display (HUD) or goggles mounted on their helmets. We can
take the same idea and easily transition into other battlefield scenarios, such
as a malfunctioning automatic grenade launcher, the power supply unit of a
Radio Trunking System etc.  For example,
if there were to be a jammed rifle,  our
AR technology can provide guidelines on how to disassemble certain components
of it and immediately reassemble them in a matter of moments after removing the
fault. In the situations when the rifle needs specialized repair, the AR
project would have the capability to inform the soldier that the weapon is
inoperable, and tells them to shift onto the backup plan.

 

9.          In
the heat of the battle, the soldiers of the military don’t have time to wait
for the instructions or search through an index of what could be the possible
fault. They demand instant solutions, and they surely have to be hands-free
amidst the chaos. The Augmented Reality can really help in the assistance which
might lead to saving lives as well.

 

AUGMENTED
REALITY BEHIND THE SCENES

 

10.      Even for the higher commanders who cannot be present in the battlefield
environment, Augemented Reality can come up with a handful of solutions.
Location-based intelligence is an essential part of the strategical planning of
the military. All the different terrains of all shapes and sizes that can be
intensively hard to differentiate with just the naked eye.  Reviewing a map with an AR application can do
wonders.

 

11.        The
commanders can be provided with a feature to provide the application with the
specific grid reference or click on a certain point on a virtual map and start
simulating that location as if they were actually standing there on the ground.
They could even gesture towards a location and have it bring up information
like the population of  a  village, water level

 

 

 

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of the river or number of troops that are
operating on the ground. Like a real map, virtual markers could be placed on
tactically important sites and then can be forwarded to the forward soldier or
the higher formation commanders — all without having to sit inside an
operations room.

 

CONCLUSION

 

 

12.        Augmented reality brings the components of
the digital world into a person’s perceived real world. Not only in the
battlefield, the Augmented Reality can do a lot for the military in all of its
aspects. Training a soldier will be more than effective with AR involved. Just
look at the battlefield simulation of the training academies with rolling in
the trenches with the sound of bullets being played through the speakers or the
operations briefing by the commanders on a sand model. AR is the next
technology that our military needs in order to dominate and compete with the
adversary in the battlefield. With brilliant organisations like the Defense
Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Instruments Research and
Development Establishment (IRDE) and Bharat Electronics Laboratory(BEL), our
military can do wonders with the AR.

 

 

 

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

 

1.          Augmented
Reality, http://www.realitytechnologies.com/augmented-reality

 

2.          Adroid-Gravity
Jack, https://gravityjack.com/news/augmented-military-defense-industry/

 

3.          Augmented Reality ,en.wikipedia.org/augmented
reality

 

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