Synthetic military training: BISim’s tech helps power Project OdySSEy

Jun 27, 2023

By Craig Turner, BD Director EMEA and Gary Barratt, Snr. Application Engineer

Project OdySSEy is a single synthetic environment (SSE) for collective military training developed by BAE Systems in collaboration with nine other companies, including Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BISim). The platform has multiple use cases – including battle scenario run-throughs.

During a virtual simulation video, Project OdySSEy demonstrates a battle scenario set in Cumbria’s Lake District, UK, where escalating tensions between blue and red forces over disputed territory near Kendal, UK, threaten to spark a full-scale conflict. Military commanders are viewing this escalation as an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) feeds thermal images from a location that looks like a helicopter has crashed. These commanders now have to make choices: Do they deploy a quick reaction force, provide close air support, or both?

This battle scenario underscores the importance of coordination, decision-making, and effective communication among military units from different domains by providing a realistic and immersive training experience.

Rising to the challenge

Demonstration of collaboration among military units of different domains in Project OdySSEy

Demonstration of collaboration among military units of different domains in Project OdySSEy

For decades, digital simulation has been used in military training, such as the use of flight simulators to train pilots, but simulation systems often operate in separate and disconnected environments. Project OdySSEy addresses this challenge by enabling seamless collaboration between different military units in real-world 3D terrain across various domains, including air, land, sea, space, and cyber, in joint training scenarios.

Live training poses its own set of challenges, including the limitation of training areas due to increased commercial air traffic. Modern warfare requires preparation for drones and larger training spaces than may be available.

Project OdySSEy removes the constraints of live training by providing an SSE with no geographical or other limitations on training areas.

BISim’s technology enhancing interoperability

Demonstration of collaboration among military units of different domains in Project OdySSEy

A Pauley team member interacts with holographic globe inside the single synthetic military training environment (Source: BAE Systems)

To accomplish its mission, Project OdySSEy brings together a wide range of leading technology providers and subject matter experts from integrating a joint terminal attack controller (JTAC) simulator delivered by D3A Defence, and scalability via cloud technology using supercomputing specialists Hadean, to harnessing data analytics from VRAI, and BISim’s simulation.

BISim’s VBS4 simulation software serves as a common simulation platform that integrates and collaborates with the technologies provided by other companies for Project OdySSEy. VBS4 offers a wide range of tools and functionalities, such as realistic terrain, AI-controlled military entities, and customizable scenarios that enhance the training experience and prepare personnel for complex and dynamic operational situations.

By leveraging the strengths of the complementary technologies and expertise of the partner companies, VBS4 enhances interoperability and collaboration among military units from different domains enabling comprehensive and realistic training scenarios. The software was integrated into D3A's JTAC simulator to enhance joint fire training and close air support. It was also connected with Hadean's AI technology adding advanced AI civilian capabilities to the training scenarios, and it allowed Inzpire to deliver effective instruction and a coherent scenario. These are just a few examples of the partner companies involved in making significant contributions to the project.

Project OdySSEy is a remarkable demonstration of collaboration between BAE Systems, BISim, and other prominent technology companies. Together we are utilizing cutting-edge solutions to build an integrated training ecosystem, ultimately enhancing the training effectiveness and readiness of military personnel.
Craig Turner, BISim’s Business Development Director, EMEA.

Additionally, Project OdySSEy used VBS4 to provide a 2D "Battlespace Manager" overview of the training scenarios and views through CCTV and drone cameras to inform the "Intelligence Officer" position about the activities in the scenario’s operational area.

Shaping the future of military training

Project OdySSEy’s proof-of-concept demonstration of the SSE addressed key challenges in live training and allows seamless collaboration between different military units across air and land domains. Integrating these domains with battlespace command capabilities paves the way for expanding the project over other domains, enhancing its overall capability and the complexity of training. Collaboration between the partner companies and interoperability within diverse technologies will remain a key strength of the project, harnessing complementary expertise and technologies.

VBS4’s customizability and ease of integration with other technologies will help expand the interoperability of the SSE. As Project OdySSEy develops, VBS4 will simulate even more complex battlespace scenarios enabling new training and mission performance insights. If you’d like to learn about the possibility of integrating with VBS4 simulation software, contact To get the latest company updates and news right in your inbox, sign up for BISim's newsletter.