Enabling both fixed and mobile multi-user training is nothing new. Many in the industry have achieved it using simulators located all over the world to simultaneously network to create a single combat rehearsal. One challenge that remains, however, is producing a current, accurate and highly realistic synthetic environment in which to train.
While there are many benefits to an interoperable simulation network, one of its biggest benefits is enabling high-definition, scenario-based training that can be quickly tailored to meet a specific situation.
Picture this: a squad of Marines aboard a V-22 en route to a secret destination. Squad members are now able to practice a variety of aspects of the mission, each on a personal tablet. Other virtual aircraft are providing aerial support to ground troops, training to fly in fast and low, drop a rope and get out of harm’s way. Knowing the location of every window, wall and obstruction could mean the difference between life and death. Everyone in this scenario is networked together and engaging in real time.
If you think of the simulation environment today, it comprises different puzzle pieces that have to fit together and talk to each other. One of the simulations may be created to show terrain, landmarks and obstacles from a pilot’s point of view, while another may be set up to simulate roads and buildings from a vehicular point of view. All that information then has to be collected and sent back to a single system to compile and generate the scene for users.
The challenge is to put all those pieces together and be able to share the information between everyone involved in the mission, regardless of his or her location or the type of system hardware or software in use.
To make all of this happen, data formats and interfaces have to interoperate to produce the desired realistic synthetic environment. With the budget pressures military organizations around the world are facing, the thousands of hours it takes to build a synthetic database are no longer viable. Furthermore, new-generation synthetic environments need to be hardware agnostic.
Government organizations will no longer accept scrapping an entire synthetic environment when they want to move to a new system. Tools that enable interfacing with multiple data, software and hardware to produce cost-effective current, realistic simulation are what is needed and likely will prevail in the market today and in the future.
Customers are demanding more from these environments:
- Longer life-cycles
- Full interoperability
- Easily updated for reuse with other systems
To meet those demands while addressing the challenge of synthetic environment interoperability, training experts in the industry are developing a host of technologies and methodologies that will enable customers to reuse their current synthetic environments in whatever format they are in as they upgrade to newer hardware or share their databases with other operators using different platforms. Rockwell Collins is one example of an organization that has made internal R&D investments and has proven the ability to interoperate across databases, formats and platforms.
In this short video, Nick Gibbs, senior director of products, Simulation & Training Solutions at Rockwell Collins, discusses why interoperability plays a critical role in effective training. Click here to watch now or view at the top of the page.