Coming soon - MuVIT Generation 3 Currently in the final test phase, the 3rd generation of the MuVIT platform is almost ready to have the build documentation released. So, what’s the new functionality? We expect to do the full release of the build instructions during the Tampa Boat Show so come see us in booth 510 and find out what’s new. Originally built as a tool to augment Tampa Squadrons courses, MuVIT was developed as a low-cost and easily transportable boating virtual trainer. As currently implemented, Tampa’s MuVIT platform meets all the criteria to promote learning while maintaining a modest cost which we expect most, if not all, squadrons will be able to afford.  If smaller squadrons wish to share MuVIT units in regional areas, the video screen is the largest component in the configuration; the wheel and control panel/throttles can be packed into two small boxes and the CPU is a commodity laptop. MuVIT fits comfortably in the rear seat of a compact car. In addition to enhancing the teaching of America’s Boating Course™, and because MuVIT has extensive environments and instrumentation available, the Tampa Squadron believes that the platform also will be a useful aid in teaching the advanced grade courses Seamanship, Piloting and Advanced Piloting as outlined below. Using MuVIT in the classroom The MuVIT platform comes with 70 preinstalled scenarios.  These missions are predefined as to the activity to be performed and the criteria for success.  While several of the canned missions could be useful in the classroom - Water Taxi, Rescue of Yachtsmen to name two - many are on larger ships which would be out of context.  However, this shortcoming is well compensated with the Free Roam and Custom Mission features. Having the larger vessels available allows for the creation of scenarios which require interaction with larger vessels, Tampa is a major port in the Gulf of Mexico thus the addition of commercial traffic to custom scenarios helps the students learn how to handle such situations. Free Roam Mode In the Free Roam mode the instructor would select the locale, vessel type, starting position in the locale and the operating environment. The current platform supports 24 vessels from a jetski to a supertanker which can operate in 14 locales; we find it advantageous to stay in the US venues of New York Harbor and San Francisco Harbor. These two locations allow for the instructor to download the actual NOAA chart booklets (numbers 12334 and 18649, respectively) which compare very well with the MuVIT software’s internal charts.  It is the ability to use actual locations with corresponding charts that makes the interactive training environment more real to the student and enables the trainer to be used in the advanced grade classes of Seamanship, Piloting and Advanced Piloting for illustrating and practising basic navigation exercises while enhancing charting skills.  Since the built-in chart plotter can be removed from the user interface at the press of a button while maintaining the instrumentation information bar (which contains such information as COG, SOG, heading and  depth), the ability to perform dead reckoning navigation can become a more ‘real’ part of the classroom exercises.  Additionally, because any weather condition, such as wind and time of day can be configured, the possible training scenarios become virtually unlimited.  When instructors incorporate GPS waypoints, MuVIT becomes an even more advanced training tool Custom Scenarios One of the most powerful functions available in the MuVIT platform is the ability to build custom scenarios, or missions as they are called.  In order to use this function, a separate program called the Mission Editor is included.  Using the Mission Editor, you can set the same criteria as in the Free Roam mode with additional operational characteristics such as waypoints, weather that changes as the scenario progresses, autonomous vessels, and criteria for success.  With a bit of practice, instructors can easily develop docking exercises, vessel priority exercises with meeting, overtaking and crossing scenarios.  The real strength to the Mission Editor is the ability to choose how many and the types of the 24 vessels that will interact with the training vessel.  Instructors also define the specific routes that these interacting vessels follow thus allowing for the creating of sophisticated training missions.  Customized missions make it possible for students to practice handling and manoeuvring a vessel under various conditions in close quarters and on the open water while complying with the rules of the road. Another powerful feature of the Mission Editor is the ability to define waypoints. This ability allows MuVIT to be used for enhancing both Piloting and Advanced Piloting courses. When waypoints are defined, they can be used for conventional navigation or to trigger a number of events such as weather changes or instructions to the next waypoint. When waypoints have been created, the navigation toolbar indicates the GPS coordinates, distance and course to the waypoint.  Additionally, the compass has a separate pointer for the course to waypoint.  MuVIT, with its many tools and features, provides for a robust collection of scenarios and environments which will be useful for enhancing the classroom experience of United States Power Squadrons® courses such as America’s Boating Course, advanced grade and elective courses and many of the seminars.

Multi Vessel Interactive Trainer