Red 6, a company that builds an augmented reality aircraft platform designed for military training, says it has raised a $ 30 million Series A investment to carry out its mission.
Founded in 2018, Red 6 is the creator of the Airborne Tactical Augmented Reality System (ATARS), which brings augmented reality to the cockpit of training aircraft to allow pilots to experience training scenarios while actually flying.
Earlier this month, Red 6 announced that it had raised a Series A investment of $ 30 million, which the company claims places its valuation at $ 130 million. The investment was led by Snowpoint Ventures with the participation of other existing investors and new investors.
Red 6 says its goal is to use AR to solve a specific problem: the shortage of combat-ready pilots in the U.S. military. Although VR-based flight simulators have been used for decades during training, Red 6 brings its technology to the real sky and equips a training aircraft with an AR system that allows pilots to view virtual aircraft and other training resources. training outside the cabin.
Red 6 hopes this approach will lead to faster and more cost-effective training without sacrificing realism. The use of augmented reality in the cockpit would mean that the pilot in training could, for example, fight dogs against a virtual airplane or practice running against virtual ground targets. Compared to doing this type of training in real life, the RA approach means that only one plane has to be in the sky, saving time and money in logistics, fuel, maintenance and more. Meanwhile, the pilot would continue to feel all the realistic g forces and other aspects of the flight that can only be replicated by actually flying in a real plane.
Visually, the base of ATARS is a helmet-based AR screen of Red 6’s own design. The company claims that the screen is capable of operating with external brightness and has a field of view of 150 °.
So far we haven’t had a clear view of what the pilot actually sees while using ATARS outside of the conceptual images and a view of the actual system output in the following photo.
We are curious about tracking, resolution, and visibility, and whether the system supports proper occlusion of virtual objects from the cockpit.
While Red 6 is currently running ATARS with Berkut 540 aircraft, the company says it is also developing the T-38 Talon integration system that is used for U.S. Air Force pilot training.
It’s unclear to what extent Red 6’s technology has gone beyond a demonstration or pilot stage, but the company says it has reached phase III of the small business innovation research program on behalf of the The U.S. Air Force, which includes financial support and suggests a strong interest in integrating the technology into future programs.