LVC & Synthetic Wrap
Minerva Simulation & Training
Minerva Simulation and Training, a UK-based company, is using VBS3 to make simulation-based training more mobile, bridging the gap between home-based desktop training and field exercises.
VBS3 is very flexible and makes scenario creation easy. The VBS Developer Suite allows us to push the boundaries and create realistic equipment simulation.
Since 2013, Minerva has helped simulation customers such as the UK Ministry of Defence conduct live-virtual-constructive exercises that incorporate “synthetic wrap.” Synthetic wrap involves enriching live, instrumented training through virtual and constructive simulation. For example, a JTAC might practice calling in an airstrike on a real bombing range and then see that attack happen in the virtual world on a laptop or through emulated viewing equipment.
“There will always be a need for live firing, you can’t replace it,” says Robert Moodie, head of sales for Minerva. “Prior to leaving the military, I was director of training for an artillery unit and I know how expensive live ammo is. In the long run, using simulation saves military organizations money.”
At ITEC 2018, Minerva unveiled the prototype of an untethered Joint Fires Synthetic Targeting System (JFSTS) viewing device for Joint Fires training that incorporates VBS3. The JFSTS is a fully self-contained, untethered viewing device designed to support the simulated training of Joint Terminal Attack Controllers & Forward Observers. The JFSTS boasts some of the best viewing device resolution on the market (2560x1440) with its own built-in computer for running BISim’s VBS3 and a tracking system.
Moodie, a former Joint Fires Forward Observer, adds that simulation also allows more complex training exercises using unmanned vehicles and fast jets without the risk of damaged equipment.
“If a UAV crashes in simulation, it doesn’t cost us millions of pounds,” Moodie says. “We can just reboot it in the synthetic environment.”
Working in conjunction with BISim’s VBS3 simulation, JFSTS can simulate the following Target Acquisition devices: Laser Range Finder, Laser Target Designator, Thermal Imager and Laser Spotter Binos.
“VBS3 is very flexible and makes scenario creation easy,” says Moodie. “It’s created in a way that everything is already there for you. If you are looking for a specific vehicle or piece of equipment, 9 times out of 10 it’s already there. The VBS Developer Suite allows us to push the boundaries and create realistic equipment simulation.” This has been proven recently with VBS3 serving as the simulation engine and visual environment for an accredited Joint Fires training system.
Through its network of partners and partner companies, Minerva is able to create a network using SATCOMM, or 3G or 4G dongles, to help simulation go mobile. The company can link separate VBS entities via a Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) network because VBS3 includes its own DIS-ready interoperability application, VBS Gateway.
The company also provides other mobile simulation services such as Thunderbird, which also leverages VBS3. The Thunderbird Tactical Part Task Trainer (TPTT) allows the rear seats and pickup compartment of a commercial 4x4 vehicle to be configured as the turret of any AFV. The Thunderbird simulators are designed to provide realistic training for modern combat vehicle crews, offering high fidelity crew training, high system availability and low operating costs. The vehicle is geo-referenced in the virtual environment, along with the turret’s exact line of sight, thereby making Thunderbird TPTT interactive with both the live and virtual worlds simultaneously in real time.
“You don’t need to be on a training area if you have created accurate virtual terrain,” Moodie adds. “If you had a terrain database of say London, as long as a driver is focusing on safety, you can take virtual tank training out of a room and into the real world.”