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21 Association of the United States Navy "Down the road, at SUBPAC, we'll be able to use our own UAVs off the shelf," Bretz said. "Working through NAVAIR [Naval Air Systems Command], we will become the designated approving authority, which will enable us as a command to operate [the UAVs] and come up with new ideas." e lab also is playing a key role in a project called OceanLens, which in time will emerge as a Google Earth of sorts for the ocean floor. As Bretz described it, OceanLens would offer Sailors a "fully virtual-reality bathymetric tool," in which operators could "fly under- water," see bottom features and hear sound models as well. "It's something Booz Allen is developing, but almost solely from Sailor input facilitated through iLab here," Bretz said. Also, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center at Keyport, Wash., has developed a maintenance simu- lator for Virginia-class submarines that relies solely on virtual-reality technology. Bretz said the center is leaning upon iLab to provide a showcase for the project. Yet another effort, taking place in cooperation with a Seattle-based soware company called Taqtile, focuses on developing an augmented-reality headset that shows users step by step how to perform mainte- nance tasks correctly. While iLab has close ties with the submarine service, its focus is much broader. "We take all comers," Bretz said. Besides Groton, other road shows included one for P-3 Orion pilots at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash. e lab also paid a visit to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, where Soldiers embraced the idea of using tethered UAVs. e lab envisioned them as eyes in the sky that would be mounted on the sail of a submarine, or a ship's bridge. e Soldiers thought they could be equally useful mounted on armored vehicles. e lab's brain trust pointed out that their short- term goal is to provide seedling ideas with a place to sprout. e better projects, they said, would in time be shied to other agencies for more funding and further development. Should any ideas ultimately make it to the fleet, it would happen through them — not iLab. "at's the ultimate goal of some of these ideas," said Keithley. "We are already seeing interest. With our limited funding, we've had some successes. But we've only been in business a little over a year now. ings are progressing." n Nick Adde is an Arlington, Va.-based freelance writer specializing in defense and veterans' affairs. ADM James F. Caldwell, director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Pro- gram, participates in an augmented-reality demonstration at the Submarine Force, U. S. Pacific Fleet's Innova- tion Lab (iLab) July 11, 2017, at Pearl Harbor. The iLab's mission is to provide Sailors with cutting-edge battlespace visualiza- tion capabilities using virtual and augmented reality. MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 2ND CLASS SHAUN GRIFFIN

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