The Next Phase of BAE Systems Digital Training

Thumb Design are about to embark on the next phase of the immersive training software designed for BAE and used by the MOD over the last ten years.

In 2003 we were commissioned by BAE Systems to develop a training system for the operation of and fault-finding in the Engineering Tank Systems (ETS) vehicles – Titan (Bridge Layer) and Trojan (Excavator). Our immersive training solution has been being used by the Army for nearly ten years, allowing trainees to learn procedures without requiring access to vehicle or equipment and to simulate faults which wouldn’t be desirable on the vehicle.

Following the identification of new training requirements we are extending the breadth of the training to cover additional faults which require sub-system simulation involving both electrical and hydraulic systems.

Desktop simulation makes it possible to cost effectively practice procedural skills and fault diagnosis prior to experiencing periods of practical instruction using the real equipment. A real benefit is that it allows the overall course length to be shortened as trainees can practice procedural skills and fault diagnosis procedures in an electronic classroom environment. Each trainee can learn and practice simultaneously at their own pace. Traditionally, this training could only be achieved by “rotating” students through the real equipment or more complex simulators and even then the opportunity to practice was limited by time and safety constraints.

Our core programme contains the underlying software engines and all the elements used in the lessons such as the 3D vehicles, control panels, test equipment, sound effects and components. Any change to these elements is instantly rolled out to all lessons saving testing time and avoiding errors when updating, which was essential as the training software was in operation before the vehicle design was finalised. Procedural lessons were created by training designers in an industry standard database programme which is updated prior to plugging it into our training software. This database driven approach provides speed and flexibility for content update by trainers in a tool they are familiar with, and also acts as an electronic “storyboard” for review by subject matter experts prior to software production.

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