Armed Forces News

Soldiers at Fort Benning, Ga., take the temperature of trainees using sensors in a modified version of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System, known as IVAS googles. US Army photo.

An Army visual real-time training system is showing promise in a role neither the service nor its developers had imagined when they created it. The Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) provides virtual environments to soldiers via either mobile or head-mounted devices. It has many capabilities, but the one that caught the collective eye of the Close Combat Force team at Fort Benning, Ga., is its ability to quickly take temperatures.

With the outbreak of COVID-19, the Benning-based Soldier Lethality Cross Functional Team is using IVAS to screen the hundreds of soldiers who pass through the post for training.

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“We can use this technology today to fight the virus, even as we shape it into the combat system our soldiers need tomorrow,” said Brig. Gen. Tony Potts, PEO (program executive office) Soldier at Fort Belvoir, Va.

The digital thermal sensors on IVAS are being adapted to detect fevers. At Benning, a soldier trained in IVAS use who was wearing the device recently was able to screen and clear nearly 300 soldiers in less than a half hour.

“We’ve always planned for an agile software system and a digital platform that can be upgraded and adapted to use against emerging threats,” Bowman said. “No one anticipated the next threat to emerge would be a virus, but that’s the enemy we face today.”


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