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CASARA Virtual Trainer

posted 9 Mar 2013, 13:37 by Support SarMobile
The announcement of the CASARA Virtual Trainer program has struck the world with a whimper rather than the resounding boom it deserves. In a press release from Carleton University located in Ottawa, Canada the University Advanced Cognitive Engineering Lab, announce the project funded by a Search and Rescue New Initiatives fund award sponsored by project partners the Canadian Department of Defence in support of the Civil Aviation Search and Rescue Association (CASARA). According the release, the systems, called CASARA Virtual Trainers (CVT), will consist of immersive "in-flight" environments and realistic missions that will provide hands-on training in appropriate voice communications, visual-scanning techniques, call-around procedures, planning and executing visual-search patterns, emergency location transmitter homing techniques, map interpretation and GPS navigation. This project will provide computer-based training systems and materials to enhance the CASARA training program by providing distributed and web-based training material and flight simulation to CASARA for training spotters and navigators.

We are excited by this development for two main reasons. First, this is probably a unique and uniquely Canadian response to the problem of providing quality standardized training to a geographically dispersed group of air search and rescue volunteers. Second, those of you who are familiar with our work know that we are striving against the growing influence of anecdote on electronic search techniques, and the affect on search efficacy. With a well respected institution entering the arena we look forward to the reversal of this trend sooner rather than later. Not only is Carleton University the home of the ACE lab, it can also take pride in a respected engineering department. Certainly the resources are available to provide training based on the latest science and engineering rather than naive ideas passed from person to person without critical examination.

This website was never intended to be a news outlet, nor are any members of the SARMobile team journalists. However, this is such an important event that we thought it deserved better exposure than the mainstream press has yet given it. We contacted Carleton University media relations to see if we could submit some questions to the CVT team. Other than a short note promising to look into it, we have yet to hear back. If we do, and are able to ask questions we will update this page. In the mean time, we think that the three year project is well worth watching.