Success Story

AMRDEC collaboration with Auburn to develop training for FAA

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center is collaborating with Auburn University and the Federal Aviation Administration to develop innovative aviation learning and training modules using virtual, interactive and multimedia technology. Rapid prototyping of gaming technology tools will ensure that the computer-generated training environments are user-friendly and customizable. 

On June 6, AMRDEC Acting Director Jeff Langhout signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with Auburn University. AMRDEC's Software Engineering Directorate, Army Game Studio will partner with Auburn University to develop gaming modules that can be implemented into the FAA's current curriculum for air traffic controllers.

The project is through the FAA's Air Transportation Center of Excellence for Technical Training and Human Performance. The FAA's Center of Excellence program is a long-term, cost-sharing partnership between academia, industry and government. The FAA works with center members and affiliates to conduct research in airspace and airport planning and design, environment and aviation safety. 

The team will develop air traffic controller training technology using research and science-based knowledge on training adult learners and the use of gaming to improve learning and retention. The modules will demonstrate team capabilities to provide realistic, engaging and effective training.

The Army Game Studio has established unmatched capabilities in the development of virtual, interactive and multimedia technology used for outreach, recruiting, education and training. The studio brings together artists, Soldiers and gaming experts to create virtual environments for Soldiers to train in without putting them at risk in combat. AGS manages the development and deployment of the Official Video Game of the U.S. Army, America's Army, and the GoArmy Edge Sports Applications. 

"The Army Game Studio is my go-to place for any training, animation, augmented learning or virtual environment that I need," said JoEllen Sefton, director of Auburn University's Warrior Research Center and associate professor in the School of Kinesiology.

"I know that the talented team there can take anything we develop, or anything I can imagine, and make it real."

The Warrior Research Center is led by Auburn's School of Kinesiology in the College of Education and includes research from engineering, industrial design, psychology, business, veterinary medicine and human sciences. Studies also include Auburn's ROTC program, MRI Research Center, Center for Disability Research and Service Assistive Technology and Innovation Gastrointestinal Research Center, as well as the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine on Auburn's campus.

"This CRADA provides the opportunity for AMRDEC's Army Games Studio to use game-based and virtual reality technologies to enhance Army aviation training and readiness," said Frank Blackwell, program manager, Army Game Studio. "We believe Auburn University will be a strong partner."

"This is the first CRADA that AMRDEC has entered into with Auburn and we are excited about the research opportunities that will result from this partnership," said Kelly McGuire, chief of the Science and Technology Support Division. 


U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to provide innovative research, development and engineering to produce capabilities for decisive overmatch to the Army against the complexities of the current and future operating environments in support of the Joint Warfighter and the Nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.