Microsoft has launched a new visual simulation platform that creates immersive training simulations.

On display at the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) in Orlando this week, the Microsoft ESP offers realism and high-fidelity 3D visual imagery, a configurable user-adjustable weather system, accurate vector data and geography which can be tailored for custom solutions.

Companies such as Adacel, SAIC and Northrop Grumman use the system as the software platform for their training simulators.

Microsoft ESP’s launch marks Microsoft’s entry into the growing market of games-based learning tools which are used in a variety of industries, including the defence sector, a company spokesperson says.

Microsoft’s ACES Studio manager Shawn Firminger says the development of the platform has been driven by customer requests for licensing on Microsoft’s Flight Simulator engine.

“Partners, customers and systems integrators can use Microsoft ESP to develop high-fidelity, dynamic, 3D immersive experiences and create visual simulations across many serious learning and training endeavours.”

Firminger says Microsoft is now working on version that will add support for vehicle operator training, ground operations and other scenarios.

The next challenge will be developing richer and more complex location details – on the water, under the water, inside buildings and cities – gradually moving more deeply into core scenarios, Friminger says.

By Elizabeth Clifford-Marsh