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Training Civil Support Teams in the CAVE
AuthorKoepnick, Steven M.
AdvisorComing, Daniel S.
Computer Science and Engineering
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National Guard Civil Support Teams (CST) respond to a variety of situationsinvolving dangerous materials. Many of these situations can be safely simulated fortraining purposes in the real world. Radiological threats, however, are difficult tosimulate due to the lack of materials that can mimic radiation sources without thedanger of the real radiation. To address the need for a system to train CSTs torespond to radiological threats, we have developed Radiological Immersive SurveyTraining (RIST). RIST simulates radiological threats from multiple sources using arealistic real-time shielding model based on ray casting and allows users to practicesurveying the threat using representations of the world and necessary equipment ina virtual environment. We have developed an after action review tool to allow areviewer to show trainees a recording of their survey and how they can improve.We also developed a scenario design tool to allow a designer to create scenarios ofradiological threats.We developed novel multi-user interaction techniques to enable simultaneoustraining for two CST members in a CAVE Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE<super>TM</super> ).We also introduced a novel multi-perspective rendering technique for two users basedon each user's task rather than field of view. Finally, we conducted a preliminaryuser study with several pairs of expert users to measure user preferences and theeffects of using this technique, in conjunction with varying which user navigated, onuser performance. A local CST survey team tested the system and provided feed-back throughout the development process. The team learned to use the system withminimal coaching, quickly learned to navigate and interact via wand controls, andultimately performed successful demonstrations. Two groups of CST survey teamshave now used the system for training.