ISR Simulation Training

Nautilus International Risk Consultants

Nautilus International Risk Consultants, based on the Jurassic coastline of Poole, Dorset, UK, is a veteran-owned global training service provider specialising in simulation services and products. Nautilus supports the UK MOD by delivering managed simulation services or creating 3D modelling content, scripting lines of code and making threat-relevant VBS3 missions.

Simulated VBS3 ISR downlinks to the UK MOD provide essential training support. Without simulation, the level and depth of training being undertaken would simply be seriously impeded.
Tim Rees-Eggert, Managing Director, Nautilus International

“With significant increases to UK Defence spending and the recent multi-million-pound Transformation Fund announcement, operating in the ‘grey zone’ is the new normal," said Tim Rees-Eggert, Managing Director, Nautilus International. "Simulating any threats to the UK or the UK’s interests overseas has never been more prevalent.”

One example of such a threat is the use of weaponised enemy drones and the tactics that have evolved to deal with them, according to Rees-Eggert. Nautilus has accurately modelled hostile variants of unmanned aerial vehicles for use during simulated ISR full motion video downlinks from the MQ9 Reaper.

“During exercise support, we can and have provided up to four simultaneous VBS3 ISR downlinks looking at four different locations of interest. This is normal procedures for real operations but what about when the military are training for operations?” Rees-Eggert said. “Air assets and their professional air crews can be quite restricted in terms of their usage. Crew hours, serviceability, weather restrictions and both civil and military aviation authorities all take their toll on delivering essential effect, transportation and ISR video feeds. Add to this the very restricted use of flying military UAVs in the UK, especially the versions that the military are likely to use on operations. This is the capability gap that Nautilus has been successfully delivering for the last five years using simulated ISR.”

Simulated VBS3 ISR downlinks to the UK MOD provide essential training support. Without simulation, the level and depth of training being undertaken would simply be seriously impeded, Rees-Eggert explains.

The VBS3 ISR feed is only one part of the capability. The alphanumeric metadata overlaid on top of the full motion video is equally important, according to Rees-Eggert. The MQ9 metadata has been meticulously coded by Nautilus scripters to display the same metadata as the real MQ9 Reaper sensor. Further realism is provided by the operationally used software application that allows for recording of the simulated video feeds, intelligence evaluation, rewind, fast forward and annotation. The training systems use the same operational methods of chat that military-qualified pilots use to operate and report upon what the simulated VBS3 ISR sensor is viewing.

The simulated VBS3 ISR video feeds are pushed into the military operations room from the exercise control location. Planned or dynamic events are all controlled using VBS3 and the previously created terrains and VBS3 missions. Multiple subjects of interest are monitored sometimes continuously until either they are no longer of interest or dealt with accordingly.

“Nautilus is seeing more and more military trained personnel viewing Nautilus VBS3 simulated ISR downlinks who have never seen ISR feeds before,” he says. “The simulated ISR downlinks are so realistic individuals sometimes think they are observing the real feed.”


Tools Used

Customer Profile

Nautilus International is an established UK Defence company that provides services and products in C2, C4ISTAR, ISR, simulation, training and unmanned aerial systems to military, defence, civil and government organisations worldwide. Through research and innovation Nautilus is challenging current capabilities to define future technologies.

Nautilus' agility and flexibility as a micro-organisation, in support of the UK MoD and some of the largest UK Defence and government organisations, is second to none.


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Founded in 2001, Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BISim), a wholly-owned subsidiary of BAE Systems, Inc., is a global software company at the forefront of simulation and training solutions for defense and civilian organizations. Globally, many hundreds of thousands of military personnel are trained every year using BISim’s high-fidelity VBS software products. More than 60 NATO and NATO-friendly countries, and over 300 integrators/prime contractors use VBS technology, many making significant funding commitments to extend VBS product capabilities. BISim’s customers include the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, Canadian Armed Forces, French Army, Bundeswehr, Swedish Armed Forces, Australian Defence Force, New Zealand Defence Force and many major system integrators.