Airbus AS532 Cougar Virtual Maintenance Trainer

Highlights
  • Client: French MoD
  • 250+ procedures
  • Classroom and 1:1 replica training
  • Several thousands of interactive parts
  • Authoring tool to update and upgrade scenarios
  • AS532 VMT available for sell

Context

The French Army has launched a mid-life upgrade of Cougar helicopters in service with the Army and Air Force, which provides tactical transport in any area day or night. The operation is expected to give the AS532 MKII Cougar aircraft an additional 20 years of potential use by upgrading their avionics, modernizing their auto-protection system and integrating the Army's Light Aviation Information System.

Because of the critical nature of their missions, these upgraded systems are subject to high operating loads. To respond to the challenge posed by their high availability rate, it is essential that the personnel involved in maintenance operations are fully trained and qualified. What's more, staff turnover means that training maintenance personnel has become a major challenge for the armed forces.  To modernize and improve the efficiency of maintenance training at the Bourges military academy (EMB), the French MoD decided to equip the school with a modern helicopter maintenance simulator, using the latest available technologies.

Achievements

The French MoD selected DIGINEXT to develop, provide training and maintain in operational conditions this simulator, named SLMH.

DIGINEXT drew on its expertise in maintenance simulators and its flagship software suite Inscape VTS to deliver this virtual maintenance training system on time. It allows a single instructor to simultaneously teach maintenance procedures to 12 students through interactive demonstrations, launch and monitor the students' practical execution of virtual maintenance tasks in parallel, and debrief the progress of each session at a very advanced level.
Without even needing to immobilize an aircraft, the students can safely familiarize themselves with the various aircraft equipment in a very realistic 3D environment, perform virtual operations of installation, removal, troubleshooting or corrective or scheduled maintenance procedures. The simulator allows access to all points of the aircraft, to use tools or consumables, to operate Ground Support Equipment or to select spare parts to be used in a comprehensive inventory.

In addition, a 3D glass cockpit allows students to familiarize themselves with the real helicopter controls by giving them the opportunity to practice all or part of the exercises on a full-scale model, alone or with other students in a collaborative manner.

Instructors, for their part, have at their disposal a powerful educational tool for teaching and validating the proper conduct of maintenance operations. The system delivered by DIGINEXT to the armed forces includes more than 260 procedures covering the entire ATA spectrum (mechanical, hydraulic, electrical, etc.) and reproduces several thousand helicopter components in 3D.

The armed forces therefore benefit from a tool that will allow students to feel confident in their capabilities, and instructors to improve the quality and reliability of their training while minimizing the time spent on the real helicopter.

Solution

DIGINEXT's 3D designers have carried out extensive modeling work to accurately reproduce the various components of the device from scratch. The interactive 3D environment also replicates physical interactions, sounds and allows several players to train in a collaborative manner.

The end users' system benefits from an already proven distributed architecture, minimizing development costs and maximizing the availability of the software applications.

A key element in the timely success of the project was the use of Inscape VTS Editor to produce and validate with the client all the required procedures. The graphical visualization of the procedures and the various tools integrated into the editor allowed the training content to evolve very quickly and agilely according to user feedback.

The client also decided to acquire the Inscape VTS editor to develop the training content by itself. Instructors are now completely autonomous to add or modify procedures, implement new components, tools or spare parts to expand their exercise catalog or take into account changes in technical documentation.

Airbus AS532 Multi-Role Helicopter (MRH) VMT available for sell

The Airbus AS532 Virtual Maintenance Trainer is available for sale to other companies or organizations wishing to acquire it. It is delivered without the specific features of the French armed forces. It can be used as is or customized to add or modify procedures, integrate specific equipment or manage different variants. This VMT can be easily customized for any other multi-role helicopter from the Airbus range of helicopters such as the Super Puma, H125M, H225 or Caracal.


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