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U.S. Army, Intel Team Up making Training Virtually a Reality

Wed, 04/03/2013 - 9:44am

A screenshot from the virtual environment ARL and Intel are collaborating on.Orlando, Fla. – The U.S. Army's Research Laboratory's, Human Research and Engineering Directorate, Simulation and Training Technology Center (STTC) and Intel have entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement to collaborate and optimize research in virtual training environments.

This unique partnership is expected to provide both organizations a leap ahead in scalable simulation capabilities. The jointly developed technology will allow for at least five times the concurrent human participants supported in virtual training environments. The expected increase of participants, areas of operation and complexity of agents will bring the military closer to achieving the goals outlined in the U.S. Army Learning Concept for 2015.

The STTC identified a need for scalability and flexibility for next-generation training applications. The majority of current simulation-based, virtual-environment training applications are only used at the small unit level, 40 Soldiers or less.

Intel researchers have been developing technologies to scale user interaction and they intend to focus on technologies to scale realism and immersion. As platform technology providers, they partner with application developers to ensure that technologies address the “right" problem. Collaboration with the STTC offers an opportunity to work directly with users of the technology.

“Properly representing the operational environment for Army training needs will require a massive increase in simulation scalability and flexibility," stresses Doug Maxwell, science and technology manager at the STTC. “It is our belief that virtual world technology may be used to achieve the goal of full-spectrum operations during mission rehearsal exercises. This partnership is the first step to show that more than 1,000 users can operate in the same space and at the same time to achieve a realistic mission."

The Human Research and Engineering Directorate (HRED) leads two Army Research Laboratory Major Laboratory Programs (MLPs): Human Sciences and Simulation and Training Technology.

The goal of the STTC is to research, develop, mature and transition innovative training technologies that increase Warfighter battlefield readiness and performance. The center's research focus is technology for the future--What are the requirements five to ten years down the road?

The STTC is actively pursuing analysis and development in the areas of intelligent tutors, immersive learning environments, human agent teaming, dismounted Soldier training, virtual world technologies, mobile applications (Apps) and medical simulators and simulations.

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