News 1998 Army Science and Technology Master Plan

C. Distributed Interactive Simulation

DoD S&T strategy places strong emphasis on "synthetic environments." The distributed interactive simulation (DIS) initiative provides the lead for coordinating and integrating triservice, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and Defense Modeling and Simulation Office (DMSO) activities toward an underlying open architecture, standards, databases, and general–purpose designs necessary to achieve seamless synthetic environments. Through the DARPA–established defense simulation internet (DSI), a wide array of M&S capabilities at multiple facilities can be linked to form synthetic environments ranging in scale and resolution for a variety of uses (Figure VI–8).

Figure VI-8. Defense Siluation Internet (September 1995)
Figure VI-8. Defense Siluation Internet (September 1995)
Click on the image to view enlarged version

Synthetic 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 S&T demonstrations and initial capabilities for Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) battle laboratories. Experience gained from these activities evolve into new methodologies for 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 common synthetic environments are coordinated through STRICOM.

Seamless synthetic environments are achieved through the integration of simulation and modeling techniques, technology, capabilities, and processes.

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 mockups 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 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.

1. 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 (1) live operations with real equipment in the field, (2) constructive wargames, models, analytical tools, and (3) virtual systems and troops in simulators fighting on synthetic battlefields. While the first two components are technically mature, the virtual component is evolving. Virtual capability is improving through technology advances in high–performance computing, communication, artificial intelligence, and synthetic environment realization.

The Army has adopted an electronic battlefield (EBF). 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, operational test and evaluation, training, mission planning, and rehearsal in Army specific and joint operations (Figure VI–9).

Figure VI-9. Synthetic Environment for Distributed Interactive Simulation
Figure VI-9. Synthetic Environment for Distributed Interactive Simulation

2. Approach

A near–term priority is the advanced distributed simulation (ADS) infrastructure to improve training and force readiness. It includes:

High–performance computing.
Real–time, large–scale networking.
Data and application software methodologies for interoperability, scalability, and realism.
Multilevel secure, hierarchical, open architecture standards, interfaces, and products.

To implement these, the Army established the TRADOC battle laboratories, the 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 and is responsible for the Army–wide integration of DIS requirements, 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 research, development, procurement, and support of simulators, simulations, and training devices. It also has the DoD lead responsibility for DIS–related standards and protocols and coordination with industry.

ISTD was formed to put the major battlefield information sciences and technologies under one organizational umbrella and 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 EBF.

The Army established AMSGOSC to oversee DIS and other M&S–related activities from a corporate perspective. It is cochaired by the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army and the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Research, Development, and Acquisition), who also cochair the Army Science and Technology Advisory Group. An expanded Army Modeling and Simulation Executive Committee, cochaired by the Deputy Under Secretary of the Army (Operations Research) and the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, provides overall management and has established three 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 AMS Office, which is charged with developing an integrated investment strategy across the three domains encompassed by the EBF: (1) advanced concepts and requirements (ACRs), (2) RDA, and (3) training, exercises, and military operations (TEMO) (Figure VI–10). Each has a domain manager at the Department of the Army Headquarters level, and a domain agent at the major command level (TRADOC for ACR and TEMO, AMC for RDA). Management and investment plans are prepared for each domain.

Figure VI-10. DIS Synthetic Environment
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.

The DIS master plan describes the program currently in place, the envisioned future capabilities, and the plan to achieve these objectives. The Army established a two–pronged investment strategy for DIS to support Army training and acquisition (Figure VI–11). The combined arms tactical trainer (CATT) (Figure VI–12) and the battlefield distributed simulation–developmental (BDS–D) (Figure VI–13) are directed to provide real–time, man–in–the–loop, synthetic environment simulation capabilities as follows:

Figure VI-11. DIS Electronic Battlefield
Figure VI-11. DIS Electronic Battlefield
Click on the image to view enlarged version

Figure VI-12. Close Combat Tactical Trainer
Figure VI-12. Close Combat Tactical Trainer

Figure VI-13. BDS-D Program
Figure VI-13. BDS-D Program
Click on the image to view enlarged version

Link combat systems, wargame simulations, and manned simulators into a hybrid real/virtual battlefield environment.
Provide an open–ended hierarchical architecture with DoD common standards and protocols.
Provide a realistic behavioral representation of the battlefield at each echelon.
Orchestrate a large–scale distributed networking of resources.

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. Initial operational capability for CATT is planned for 1999.

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. 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 EBF (Figure VI–13). This program continually exploits the advances from our national ADS S&T developments. The Army ADS S&T program is focused on technology development for:

Army–specific requirements to ensure their timely availability to be placed in the BDS–D process and other simulation applications.
The electronic battlefield of tomorrow, where advanced, interoperable, distributed simulations—live, constructive, virtual—at geographically separated locations are connected to cooperatively form highly realistic synthetic environments.

The DSI (Figure VI–8 above) will be the connecting linkage and provide the high–level connectivity necessary to accomplish R&D and training goals.

Click here to go to next page of document