Lockheed Martin builds a virtual lab

Defense heavyweight Lockheed Martin has opened an advanced technology and virtual simulation facility in Colorado. 

Dubbed “CHIL,” the lab integrates several virtual reality technologies – allowing engineers to validate, test, and understand products before creating them physically.

Lockheed is expected to use the Collaborative Human Immersive Laboratory to test drive a wide range of next-gen projects, such as the Air Force’s GPS III and NASA’s Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle.

The lab can also be applied to a number of additional space systems, including satellites, exploration spacecraft, launch vehicles and missile defense systems.

“While similar technology is being used in the movie industry to create fictitious worlds, the CHIL is real,” said Lockheed spokesperson Jeff D. Smith.

“Using motion tracking and virtual reality technology, the CHIL creates a unique collaborative virtual environment for exploring and solving problems quickly, and where hardware designs and manufacturing processes can be fine tuned before production or development begins. 

“This allows engineers to identify risks and increase efficiencies early in program development, when the cost, risk and time associated with making modifications are low.”