Enhanced simulation-based system will lower the cost and increase the availability of helicopter training for the US Navy
SAN MATEO, CA, December 16, 2009 – The U.S. Navy awarded Stottler Henke Associates, Inc. (www.stottlerhenke.com) an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) contract worth over $9 million to develop simulation software to train helicopter cockpit operations. The PC-based software enables pilots and other crew members to learn helicopter operations without expensive simulators or helicopters.
This is the second contract awarded to Stottler Henke to develop training simulators for MH-60S “Sierra” and MH-60R “Romeo” Navy helicopters. Stottler Henke previously developed and delivered part-task trainer (PTT) software that is available to all Navy personnel. It is easy to use and runs under Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) computers that most Navy helicopter crews can access. For this contract, Stottler Henke will keep the software up-to-date with the evolving helicopter and add new capabilities such as forward looking infrared (FLIR) and support for the FLIR hand control unit (HCU). A major enhancement is acoustics capabilities, so sensor operators can learn the details and subtleties of acoustics operations, using real acoustic image displays, without requiring high-end simulators or helicopters.
“OMIA gives students cockpit ‘button crunching’ training, so that when they get into the helicopter or a glass simulator, they already know what’s where, “ said Navy LCDR Sal Rafanello, Helicopter Training Systems Integrated Product Team Leader for the MH-60S. “In its current iteration, OMIA has already saved the government millions of dollars, compared to using a full-featured glass simulator.”
The software is being used to train crews at the Navy’s helicopter training squadrons at Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI) and at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia. It will soon be implemented at Naval Station Mayport in Florida. Because it is PC-based, crew members can run it on laptop computers to stay proficient while at sea or anywhere in the world. Optionally, the OMIA solution can be attached to hardware that closely matches the helicopter’s hardware to provide a more realistic simulation. For example, the forward looking infrared (FLIR) hand control unit (HCU) can be plugged into the USB port of a computer running OMIA. The contract was awarded by the Naval Air Warfare Center, Aircraft Division in Lakehurst, NJ.
Founded in 1988, Stottler Henke Associates, Inc. applies artificial intelligence and other advanced software technologies to solve problems that defy solution using traditional approaches. The company delivers intelligent software solutions for education and training, planning and scheduling, knowledge management and discovery, decision support, and software development. In 2006, Stottler Henke was the subject of a NASA “Hallmarks of Success” video profile for its work developing and later commercializing advanced planning and training software systems. Stottler Henke received a 2004 “Brandon Hall Excellence in Learning” award for innovative technology. Stottler Henke was named as one of the “Top 100” companies making a significant impact on the military training industry by Military Training Technology magazine for 2009 and five previous years. In 2005, Stottler Henke received a Blue Ribbon recognizing it as a company that leads the industry in innovation.
December 16, 2009