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Northrop Grumman: GENESIS

 

Objective

 

Northrop Grumman initiated the GENESIS program to encourage innovation, identify potential and then provide funding to investigate potential. Several projects were invented, researched and budgeted.

 

Strategy

 

The following projects were contributed:

 

VUI/Variable User Interface

 

The goal of Variable UI is to enable users, via interactive gaze-contingent eye-tracking in virtual reality, to realign elements of a user interface based on changing circumstances, thus maximizing crucial information while minimizing other information. This may include arranging screens or applying different pieces of information to different facets of geometric objects that can be rotated. While the design and implementation for his would be relatively straightforward in VR, there is also potential for the same functionality with or in conjunction with eye-tracking devices such as FOVE. I came up with this idea during a discussion for how best to orient displays for a current project, but it can be applied to any instance of multi-task/information management, on the ground or in the air.

 

VUI is useful for task/information management and education, company-wide and for military and civilian customers domestic and abroad, for systems/operations, support and even pilots and crew for Global Hawk, medical aircraft, X-47B etc. Variable UI is directly related to training as well as established and evolving mission-management systems. TS can develop functionality based on local needs or based on other systems, thus fostering collaboration between sectors.

 

AR2M/Augmented Reality User Interface

 

The goal of Augmented Reality Movable Maps (AR2M) is to enable live, three-dimensional views of combat and disaster areas at any location, any time, solving the problem of information obsolescence in quickly changing situations. Scrollable, orbital 3D views in any location enable deeper clarity and efficiency in planning, execution adaptability and alleviating information fatigue and confusion, especially in urban areas where wars of the future are likely to be fought. A library of environments can be quickly built and deployed based on strategic needs. In the field, a single planner can manipulate information while an entire team can watch on an external display/tablet before deployment or redeployment. Geographic analysis at any location is the difference between blindness and sight.

 

While AR2M is initially designed for on-location analysis, other applications include, but are not limited to, education, training and entertainment. An update-able library of environments could be sold or licensed to both military and civilian customers, including internationally.

 

As AR2M is directly related to logistics, training and simulation, it aligns directly with sector goals.

 

Furthermore by working with drones, via Aerospace, data could be collected and generated on-location.

 

HFTA/Hands-Free Target Acquisition

 

The goal is to achieve selective interactive eye-tracking for target and intel acquisition for unmanned vehicles and devices. The desired result is to enable operators to think less about their tools and more about their objectives, thus decreasing risk and error while increasing efficiency and effectiveness.

 

HFTA is useful for both training and real-world applications. It may be used towards easing burnout and high turnover rates experienced amongst drone pilots. There is also potential for limitless practice, training and experimentation without further equipment/ordnance cost. Applicable to platforms such as Global Hawk, X-47B and future platforms.

 

The concept could possibly be accomplished with eye-tracking inside a helmet-mounted display, foregoing the virtual aspect. As HTFA is directly related to logistics, training and simulation, it aligns directly with sector goals.

 

MPOD/Multi-Platform Object Detection

 

MPOD will be designed for real-time scan of an environment from a drone, land vehicle, or stationary object and detect and classify objects/people on the ground, providing options to an operator and increasing situational awareness by alleviating target fixation. Understanding that Northrop Grumman is working on similar ideas for X-47B and its successor, this would be additional/complementary. This particular project is actually a very small step towards the goal of using machine learning, neural nets and object recognition to facilitate more autonomous vehicle operation and intelligence/target acquisition. More intelligent computer vision, discernment and learning mean less collateral damage (a fear associated with autonomous machines), in turn meaning more moral authority for the U.S.

 

MPOD solves the problem of manually identifying all targets or intel and missing something that you did not know you were looking for in the first place, or “unknown unknowns”, or were too drilled in to see. Applicable to platforms such as Global Hawk/MQ-4C Triton and X-47B/deployed successor. Applicable to real-world video or video piped to a virtual environment.

 

As MPOD is directly related to logistics, training (computers) and simulation, it aligns directly with sector goals. Neural nets, machine learning and object recognition/discernment based on heat, motion, outlines, colors, blobs and details all t with current sector research and goals, but would flourish in a multi-sector collaboration.

 

PHUD/Personal Head-Up Display

 

Similar to Variable User Interface, but in the real world, the goal of the Virtual Head-Up Display is to enable, via the use of interactive selective eye-tracking with HoloLens or similar device, users to realign objects at any location via augmented reality as well as access information from networks.

 

While AR2M is initially designed for in-theater analysis, other applications include, but are not limited to, education, training, rehabilitation and entertainment. An update-able library of environments could be sold or licensed to both military and civilian customers.

 

As PHUD is directly related to logistics, training and simulation, it aligns directly with sector goals. Working with objects in augmented reality can enable cost-effective training in three dimensions without the initial need to build physical units.

 

V2R/Virtual R&R

 

The goal of Virtual R&R (V2R) is to provide more efficient and higher quality down-time and refreshment for deployed forces. A library of milieus and ambient spaces will provide a variety of options. Color and sound can have a positive psychological effect including calming, reducing anxiety and providing clarity. Virtual environments may include recognizable physical spaces, story activity or abstract ambient regions combined with sound. By using the strengths of VR to create a unique experience V2R allows limitless options for mental refreshment.

 

The goal of Virtual R&R (V2R) is to provide more efficient and higher quality down-time and refreshment for deployed forces. A library of milieus and ambient spaces will provide a variety of options. Color and sound can have a positive psychological effect including calming, reducing anxiety and providing clarity. Virtual environments may include recognizable physical spaces, story activity or abstract ambient regions combined with sound. By using the strengths of VR to create a unique experience V2R allows limitless options for mental refreshment.

 

 

Creative

 

Due to budget constraints potential form design, especially for the VUI, which was approved, would be minimal. Not only does this approach save money, but the VUI's intent to be a technology adaptable to different applications makes the basic interface ideal for future design.

CREATIVE DIRECTION | DESIGN | FILM