Working remotely in the military

Tech social distances repairs and training from afar

This is the era of working remotely. But what does that look like when your coworkers are on the other side of the world, trying to fix a fire-damaged military radar?

The military needs many of the same kinds of remote collaboration tools people are using across industries – but with an added emphasis on security, reliability and accessibility – to perform complex maintenance and sustainment in challenging environments.

VirtualWorx is a collaboration system developed by Raytheon Missiles & Defense that uses augmented reality to help military personnel make repairs and even train remotely. Raytheon Missiles & Defense is one of four businesses of Raytheon Technologies.

With the system, experts from the business can conduct live remote inspections in partnership with their military customers, enabling engineers from multiple sites to collaborate on the same problem without the cost and the delay of travel. 

For about six years now, the VirtualWorx team has been finding creative ways to use the technology both within the company and with customers. It is a tool, an enabler and a problem solver – especially in today’s complex environment.

“It is a new way of engaging with our customer going way beyond a simple phone call or video chat,” said John Bergeron, vice president, Sustainment and Sensors for Raytheon Missiles & Defense. 

“This capability has application for sustainment from fixing systems at the depots all the way to field site repair and inspections.”

Engaging skills remotely

This is one way Raytheon Missiles & Defense is delivering more for customers - the ease of collaboration to help solve mission-level customer challenges.

Military teams use these remote skills to repair critical equipment much in the same way doctors perform remote surgery. An example is performing remote repairs with VirtualWorx on systems such as Patriot.

The benefit of making repairs remotely reduces and sometimes eliminates the time and cost of travel to the system site or depot. The engineer or inspector can collaborate with the people already at the site and together they are often able to solve the problem or complete the activity without waiting for in person presence.

“A VirtualWorx collaboration helps speed the diagnosis and repair of complex systems, bringing the right people together,” said Dan Gale, senior manager for Rapid Hardware Solutions for Raytheon Missiles & Defense.

With the technology, the Raytheon Missiles & Defense customer experience is that of one team. The customer relationship is simplified and easily coordinated to help speed any mission.

With the tool, we can more rapidly uncover emerging needs and innovate capabilities at speed.

The system uses proprietary, patented technology and is built with commercially available parts, helping reduce its cost. VirtualWorx has four issued patents and additional patents pending, which enable it to be used in complex Department of Defense environments and situations in a cost effective manner.