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Innovative Training Solutions (e.g. AR, VR, MR)


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Human Systems 

OBJECTIVE: This is an AF Special Topic in partnership with AFWERX and AETC, please see the above AF Special Topic instructions for further details. A Phase I award will be completed over 3 months with a maximum award of $75K and a Phase II may be awarded for a maximum period of 15 month and $750K. The objective of this topic is to develop innovative systems or prototypes that will be able to complement and/or supplement training for Air Force members. Solutions should be designed to improve training on one or more aspects that apply to one or more types of training. Companies should be able to complete a feasibility study and prototype validated concepts in accelerated phase I and II schedules. 

DESCRIPTION: As our Air Force advances in its technological and operational capabilities, it has never been more important to continue to develop our airman using the most effective tools and processes. This has raised the profile and importance of several training missions including pilot training to address the current pilot shortage, maintenance training to keep up with the sustainment of advanced technologies, or other types of training for support personnel and general personnel development. The solutions can address one or more aspects (list 1 below) of any training type (list 2 below) and should seek to improve on one or more measures (list 3 below). Solutions can range from being very broad (applying to a number of training types/aspects) to being very specific (applying to a specific training/aspect) or somewhere in-between. It is not required that all of the aspects, types of training or measures are addressed in one solution. It is required that any solution is able to integrate well with other existing and potential solutions. It is also important that any potential solutions have a high probability of keeping pace with the technological change and thus should be close tied to commercial technologies and solutions that will help support the development of the solution. List 1: Aspects of Training (including but not limited to): ● Bookwork ● Homework ● Pre-work ● On-the job training ● General practical training ● Platform specific training ● Evaluation of training performance ● Evaluation/screening of training candidates (i.e. pre-training) ● Train-the-trainer ● Align virtual and in-real-life training ● Individual training ● Group training ● Distributed training (across different locations) ● Distance training List 2: Types of Training (including, but not limited to): ● Operational (flying) ● Operational (non-flying) ● Operational (Cyber) ● Maintenance ● Acquisition ● Intelligence ● General (e.g. cyber awareness training, Green Dot, etc.) List 3: Measures for improving training (including but not limited to): ● Effectiveness ● Efficiency ● Throughput ● Reducing Cost ● Improving flexibility ● Increasing speed of training 

PHASE I: Conduct a feasibility study to determine the effectiveness of existing (i.e. commercial) and upcoming (i.e. products expected to be released soon) solution(s) for one or multiple of the training areas (i.e. operational, maintenance, etc.). This feasibility study should directly address: 1. Which problem area(s) are being addressed by the solutions 2. How they will apply to the US Government’s needs 3. The breadth of applicability of the solution(s) to the US Government 4. Give examples of which government customers would likely be able to utilize the solution(s) 5. The solution(s) should also be evaluated for cost and feasibility of being integrated with current and future complementary solutions 6. How the solution(s) will be able to address potential future changes in training, AR, VR and MR technologies and challenges 7. The potential to keep pace with technological change due to things such as other non-DoD applications and customer bases for the solution(s) The funds obligated on the resulting Phase I SBIR contracts are to be used for the sole purpose of conducting a thorough feasibility study using scientific experiments, laboratory studies, commercial research and interviews. Prototypes may be developed with SBIR funds during Phase I studies to better address the risks and potential payoffs in innovative technologies. 

PHASE II: Develop, install, integrate and demonstrate a prototype system determined to be the most feasible solution during the Phase I feasibility study on training improvement options. This demonstration should focus specifically on: 1. A clear and specific government customer that can immediately utilize the solution 2. How the solution differs from a commercial offering to solve the DoD need (i.e. how has it been modified) 3. How the solution can integrate with other current and potential future solutions 4. How the solution can be sustainable (i.e. supportability) 5. How the demonstration can be used by other DoD customers 

PHASE III: The contractor will pursue commercialization of the various technologies developed in Phase II for transitioning expanded mission capability to a broad range of potential government and civilian users and alternate mission applications. 


1: Ingle, J. (2018). Air Force, NATO works to address pilot shortage. Retrieved June 12, 2018, from

2:  Williams, M. (2018). Air Force Tech Report: MOTAR. Retrieved June 12, 2018, from

3:  Pons, C. (2018). Augmented, Virtual Reality: Changing Airmen’s learning experience. Retrieved June 12, 2018, from

KEYWORDS: Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality, Projected Augmented Reality, Operational Training, Maintenance Training 


Steve Lauver 

(410) 474-8369 

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