Chapter VI. Infrastructure
Army Science and Technology Master Plan (ASTMP 1997)


3. Distributed Interactive Simulation

The DoD Science and Technology Strategy places strong emphasis on "synthetic environments." The Army's Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) initiative provides the lead for coordinating and integrating tri-Service, DARPA, and Defense Modeling and Simulation Office (DMSO) activities toward advancing the underlying open architecture, standards, data bases, and general purpose designs necessary for achieving seamless synthetic environments. Through use of the DARPA- established Defense Simulation Internet (DSI) as the backbone for computer communication services, a wide array of simulation and modeling capabilities located at multiple facilities can be linked to form synthetic environments ranging in scale and resolution suited for a variety of uses (see Figure VI-8).

Figure VI-8. Defense Simulation Internet as of 9/18/95

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These environments bring developers, scientists, engineers, manufacturers, testers, analysts, and warfighters together to address and solve their most pressing problems. Near-term efforts are using and expanding current capabilities to support science and technology demonstrations and the initial capability for Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Battle Laboratories. Experience gained from these activities will evolve into new methodologies for the continuous evaluation and evolution of concepts and requirements in a joint task force and combined arms battlefield context with soldiers-in-the-loop. Advances in capabilities for creating synthetic environments are coordinated through STRICOM.

Seamless synthetic environments are being achieved through the integration of simulation and modeling techniques, technology, capabilities, and processes. While the simulation factory will address lower level, more detailed representations of technology and designs important to system development, battle simulations will deal with the higher level of full battlefield representations important to the development of combined arms warfighting capabilities.

Through the design and analysis of concepts in controlled synthetic environments, distributed interactive simulation offers increased savings in time and money by reducing the need for expensive mock-ups and field testing. Synthetic environments enhance the possibility for exploring various design options in full battlefield context, allowing workers to design and assess concepts that could not be explored using traditional approaches because of safety, environmental, and cost considerations. Distributed interactive simulation can thus be used Army-wide to accelerate research and to permit advances in technology to be brought to the field in a timely fashion, helping to assure technological superiority on the battlefield.

a. Three Integral Components

The Defense Science Board (DSB) Task Force on Simulation, Readiness, and Prototyping defines simulation as "everything except combat" with three integral components--live [operations with real equipment in the field]; constructive [war games, models, analytical tools]; and virtual [systems and troops in simulators fighting on synthetic battlefields]. While the first two components are technically mature, the virtual component is now evolving. Virtual capability is improving through technology advances in high-performance computing (HPC), communication, artificial intelligence (AI), and synthetic environment realization.

The Army has adopted an electronic battlefield (EBF) which was put forth by the Army Science Board 1991 Study on Army Simulation Strategy. The long-term objective of the EBF concept is to develop and implement a single, comprehensive environment for operational and technical simulation. The EBF is designed to support combat development, system acquisition, test and evaluation (T&E), operational test and evaluation (OT&E), training, mission planning, and rehearsal in Army specific and joint operations (see Figure VI-9).

Figure VI-9. Synthetic Environment for Distributed Interactive Simulation

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b. Approach

The near-term priority is to establish an Advanced Distributed Simulation (ADS) infrastructure to improve training and force readiness. The ADS infrastructure includes the following:

To implement this concept and investment, the Army established several new initiatives. They are: the TRADOC Battle Laboratories; the Distributed Interactive Simulation General Officer Steering Committee (DIS GOSC) recently subsumed by the newly established Army Model and Simulation General Officer Steering Committee (AMSGOSC) and its collateral organizations; STRICOM; FORCE XXI; and the Information Sciences and Technology Directorate (ISTD) within ARL.

TRADOC is the Army's DIS functional manager. As such, TRADOC is responsible for the Army-wide integration of DIS requirements, the development of the DIS Master Plan, proponency for DIS verification and validation, and prioritization of the scheduling of DIS facilities.

STRICOM is the Army's technical agent for DIS technology development and network management. STRICOM activities include the research, development, procurement, and support of simulators, simulations, and training devices, as well as the DoD lead responsibility for DIS-related standards and protocols and for coordination with industry.

Army XXI, the Army of the 21st Century, will be thoroughly evaluated using DIS technology to test concepts, doctrine, and the impact of proposed equipment and their contribution to warfighting.

The ARL ISTD was formed to put the major battlefield information sciences and technologies under one organizational umbrella to focus its work on the Army's operational information needs for Force XXI and beyond. This includes all M&S activities in support of the electronic battlefield.

The Army established the AMSGOSC to oversee DIS and other M&S-related activities from a corporate perspective. It is co-chaired by the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army (VCSA) and the ASA(RDA), who also co-chair the Army Science and Technology Advisory Group (ASTAG). An expanded AMS Executive Committee (AMSEC), co-chaired by the DUSA(OR) and the DCSOPS, will provide overall management and establish three working groups--the Advanced Simulations Working Group, the Requirements Generation Working Group, and the AMS Management Plan Working Group. The Working Groups are chaired by the Army Modeling and Simulation Office (AMSO), which is charged with developing an integrated investment strategy across the three domains encompassed by the electronic battlefield: (1) advanced concepts and requirements (ACR); (2) research, development, and acquisition (RDA); and (3) training, exercises, and military operations (TEMO) (see Figure VI-10). Each has a domain manager at HQDA level, and a domain agent at MACOM level (TRADOC for ACR and TEMO, AMC for RDA). Management Plans and investment plans will be prepared for each domain.

Figure VI-10. DIS Synthetic Environment. A time and space coherent representation of a battlefield environment measured in terms of human perception and behavior of those interacting in the environment.

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The DIS Master Plan describes the program currently in place, the envisioned future capabilities, and the plan to achieve these objectives. As a follow-on to the DARPA/Army SIMNET program, the Army established a two-pronged investment strategy for DIS to support Army training and acquisition (Figure VI-11).

Figure VI-11. DIS Electronic Battlefield

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The two programs--the Combined Arms Tactical Trainer (CATT) and the Battlefield Distributed Simulation-Developmental (BDS-D)--are directed to provide real-time, man-in-the-loop, synthetic environment simulation capabilities as follows:

The CATT focuses on integrating existing systems, tactics, and doctrine into a combined arms training environment from vehicle crew through battalion task force. BDS-D is directed toward future systems and concepts and encompasses all phases of materiel, combat and training developments, and testing.

The CATT program has identified requirements for five components: the Close Combat Tactical Trainer (CCTT) (see Figure VI-12), the Fire Support CATT, the Aviation CATT, the Air Defense CATT, and the Engineering CATT. Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for CCTT is planned for 1999, providing the baseline capability for development and integration of the other components. The CATT trainers will employ standard protocols, open architecture, and reusable simulation software. TRADOC proponent systems will be joined by a geographically distributed communication network to conduct combined arms training on the same synthetic battlefield.

Figure VI-12. Close Combat Tactical Trainer (CCTT)

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The BDS-D Program is developing a distributed simulation capability linking government, university, and industry sites into an accredited, real-time, warfighter-in-the-loop simulation of the joint and combined battlefield. Manned simulators on the network embody the operational characteristics of the systems they represent. Semi-Automated Forces (SAFOR), with a man-in-the-loop, simulates the presence and actions of groups of one or more systems in a virtual battlefield environment. The BDS-D includes an evolutionary process and strategy to systematically develop, maintain, and use technologies, and associated hardware and software to achieve the long-term objective of an electronic battlefield (see Figure VI-13).

Figure VI-13. BDS-D Program

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This program continually exploits the advances forthcoming by our national ADS science and technology developments. The Army ADS S&T program is focused on technology development for the following:

The planned Defense Simulation Internet (Figure VI-8, above) will be the connecting linkage which will make the DIS function and provide the high level connectivity necessary to accomplish R&D and training goals. This network is being expanded to take in the TRADOC Battle Labs, permitting testing of new doctrine and tactics in advance of actual field trials.