In 2017, the DGA ordered a Reactive Experimentation Operation (in French: Opération d’Expérimentation Réactive (OER)) to assess the augmented-reality glasses available on the market for foot-soldiers.
The project gave several sections of the French armed forces the opportunity to test and assess the relevance of this type of solution in real conditions, the objective being to increase situational awareness, identify allies in the visual field and share a common tactical picture (CTP) in real time using a new visual interface to make it easier to appreciate the environment.
The major innovations concerned by the project include the use of SLAM (Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping) technologies to replace GPS, the helmet’s collaborative module and the new methods for representing tactical pictures during operations (holograms, banners), with additional new features to help the foot-soldiers make decisions.
The Augmented Secure Tactical Foot-soldier (FAST) system developed by DGA and Scalian was first presented to the public at the Eurosatory Fair in 2018. This augmented reality system provides a 44° angle of vision that combines tactical information, shared videos or photos and improved vision, thanks to the helmet’s thermal camera.
This system has several military and civilian applications such as for: Special Forces (for whom the coordination of Blue Force Tracking is crucial), anti-terrorist and bomb-disposal units, firemen, or outdoor industrial maintenance or roadwork operations.