The US Army’s Simulation and Training Technology Center (STTC) has signed a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with Intel for collaboration and optimisation of research in virtual training environments.

The agreement enables development of a technology that can increase the number of participants by at least five times in the virtual-training environments.

This anticipated increase of human participants, areas of operation and complexity of agents will take the military closer towards achieving the goals outlined in the US Army’s learning concept for 2015.

STTC science and technology manager Doug Maxwell said proper representation of the operational environment for army training requirements was expected to require a substantial increase in simulation scalability and flexibility.

"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," Maxwell said.

"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 army’s existing simulation-based, virtual-environment training applications can be operated at the small unit level, featuring approximately 40 or fewer soldiers, identifying a need for scalability and flexibility for next-generation training applications.

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Under the agreement, the Army Research Laboratory’s (ARL) Human Research Engineering Directorate (HRED) scientists will collaborate with Intel researchers to ensure the developed technologies address the appropriate issues.

Currently leading ARL’s two major laboratory programmes, including human sciences and simulation and training technology, the HRED is focused on devising troops’ requirements in the next five to ten years.

Additional research include analysis and development in the domains of intelligent tutors, immersive learning environments, human agent teaming, dismounted soldier training, virtual world technologies, mobile applications, including applications, medical simulators and simulations.

Image: A screenshot of the virtual environment for which the US Army and Intel are partnering. Photo: courtesy of US Army Research Laboratory.

Defence Technology