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Embedding Dismounted Simulation - Issues, and the Way Forward to a Field Capable Embedded Training and Mission Rehearsal System
Henry Marshall, Pat Garrity, Jeff Stahl, Frank Dean
SFC Paul Ray Smith Simulation and Training Technology Center, US Army Research, Development and Engineering Command

Gary Green, Mike Dolezal
Institute for Simulation and Training, University Of Central Florida

Gary Hall
General Dynamics – C4 Systems

Paul Bounker, Chris Mocnik
Vetronics Technology Area, US Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center
ABSTRACT One of the hottest topics in embedded simulation is that of providing a virtual immersive environment for dismounted soldier training and mission rehearsal. To be effective, this system must be small enough to be manwearable, powerful enough to provide believable simulated input to the soldier and must interoperate with other soldier systems, with manned vehicles such as the Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICV), and with simulated unmanned systems. The system must also provide an effective After Action Review (AAR) for exercises, distributed among all players and, when used under field exercise conditions, must be suitable for use for extended periods under demanding conditions and power constraints. This paper explores a roadmap to tackle these difficult technology issues. It reviews the state of the art for dismounted embedded simulation technologies such as helmet mounted displays, wearable computers, movement tracking devices, and movement control methods. The paper also explores research necessary for current systems to support either field exercise or mission rehearsal activities. INTRODUCTION Embedded Training (ET) is defined as a function hosted in hardware and/or software, integrated into the overall equipment configuration. ET supports training, assessment, and control of exercises on the operational equipment with auxiliary equipment and data sources as necessary [1]. When activated ET starts a training session by overlaying the system‟s normal operational mode with a training or assessment mode. The Unit of Action program has selected embedded training as the user‟s preferred training option for Future Combat Systems (FCS) [2]. This will require an analysis of both FCS operational and training needs to avoid having the two domains diverge to the point that a significant number of appended training-unique systems are required. Figure 1 illustrates a possible future training or mission rehearsal exercise under field conditions. The unit has a mix of mounted, dismounted and robotic assets and is training with embedded simulation. The scenario starts with the commander planning a training or mission rehearsal for a future operation, either of which will be conducted using embedded simulation. The mounted crew participates in the exercise virtually using the operational displays inside their vehicle. The dismounted soldiers employ a mix of constructive simulation (using a handheld device), virtual simulation (using the handheld device with a 3D view), or immersive virtual simulation (using a helmet mounted display with a 3D view). It is envisioned that dismounted soldiers would switch from constructive to virtual, then to immersive virtual as their participation in the exercise increases. In the context of FCS manned vehicles, devices similar to the Crewman‟s Remote Interface System (CRIS) could support the handheld dismounted embedded training requirement. Robotic systems would likely be played strictly as virtual entities. However, the computational and wireless capabilities of


Figure1: The Future –Fully Embedded, Interoperable Mounted & Dismounted Mission Rehearsal and Training real manned or unmanned systems may be used to augment dismounted soldier embedded computational capabilities. The operational command and control (C2) system would be used to create and monitor the exercise. At the conclusion of the exercise intelligent agents from an embedded AAR would aid creation of the commander‟s AAR. The AAR would be distributed among all the players via their embedded systems as opposed to current AAR techniques that require a meeting area or theater. After the AAR is completed, the exercise could be modified or saved as is into the C4ISR systems for mission rehearsal or as an operational plan. While the final design for embedded training may differ from this vision, the vision highlights some of the new technologies that will be necessary to move to an environment that fully integrates training and operational systems. The US Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) Simulation and Training Technology Center (STTC) has two Science and Technology Objectives (STOs) exploring mounted and dismounted embedded simulation issues; Embedded Combined Arms Team Training and Mission Rehearsal (ECATT/MR STO) and Embedded Training for Dismounted Soldiers (ETDS STO). During the course of these STOs, the RDECOM team has developed a close working relationship with the Vetronics Technology Area at the Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), and is currently exploring ways to share mounted/dismounted technologies so that these technologies can be evaluated in a field experiment with the Crew integration Automation Testbed (CAT) Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) prototype vehicle. EMBEDDED MOUNTED/DISMOUNTED INTEROPERABILITY - A MAJOR SIMULATION TECHNOLOGY GAP The US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) has identified “embedded training for mounted and dismounted interoperability” as the number one training and leader education technology gap [3]. This short fall is a major research focus for STTC‟s ECATT-MR STO. This STO demonstrated “proof of concept” for a mounted/ dismounted embedded exercise at the Inter-service/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) in December 2003. Figure 2 shows the setup for the demonstration at the RDECOM booth. The basic components of the demonstration are described in the following paragraphs.


Figure 2: Mounted/Dismounted Embedded Training Demonstration – I/ITSEC „03 Dismounted Embedded Training Systems Two Soldier Visualization Stations (SVS) from Advanced Interactive Systems (AIS) were used as immersive, manwearable embedded training systems for dismounted soldiers. SVS uses a backpack-mounted laptop computer to transmit video and audio outputs to the soldier‟s helmet mounted display (HMD) and ear phones. The system has three, 3-degree of freedom (DOF) sensors on the operator‟s back, head and weapon to track movement and orientation. The solider machine interface (SMI) consists of a small joystick and several buttons mounted on the instrumented weapon. This SMI allows the operator to “move” in the simulated environment and make changes to the weapon system such as zooming the sight picture. Figure 3 shows a solider outfitted with the SVS. The SVS dismounted embedded training system architecture is shown in Figure 4. Advanced Concepts Simulator (ACS) Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICV) Simulator United Defense developed this two-person, side-by-side simulator representing the commander and driver of an Figure 3: Man-Wearable SVS FCS ICV. The design was based on concepts for an FCS common crewstation for manned vehicles. The ICV simulator accepted and acted upon target handoff messages from the SVS. It also managed simulated danger zones associated with the ICV active protection system.


Figure 4: Embedded Dismounted System Architecture STTC Command and Control Vehicle (C2V) Robotics Control Simulation STTC provided a one-person testbed designed to represent a robotic control station in an FCS Command and Control Vehicle (C2V). This testbed was based loosely on TARDEC‟s CAT ATD [4]. The C2V simulator controlled unmanned air and ground systems via an Operator Control Unit (OCU) and provided the reconnaissance element of the demonstration. Mission Rehearsal (MR) System A desktop version of SVS was used to allow trainees to view and virtually fly through the terrain database to setup missions in a realistic virtual environment. In preparation for the mission rehearsal, trainees used SVS to move about the database and identify and mark targets, routes and other points of interest. Marking was accomplished with virtual flags that were placed in the database at specific locations. During the execution of the rehearsal, trainees see these flags in their HMD as trainees move virtually through the terrain. Fort Polk Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) Site A terrain database of the Fort Polk MOUT site provided the virtual environment shared by all demonstration participants. Exercise Scenario The exercise scenario was based on an infantry squad, its ICV and supporting unmanned reconnaissance assets encountering an anti-tank threat in an urban area. The team then works collectively to neutralize the threat. The dismounted infantry (DI) had the capability to handoff targets to the ICV. Using their weapon‟s laser to establish the target location, the DI then used the weapons GUI buttons and menus to format a message with target type and priority for handoff to the ICV. The C2V simulator controlled a virtual unmanned ground


vehicle (UGV) and an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to monitor and track the opposing forces, relaying the information to the ICV. The ICV simulated the onboard active protection system danger areas that were managed to avoid injury to friendly forces near the vehicle. The demonstration started with the infantry squad (represented by the two SVS-equipped dismounted soldiers) using the desktop mission rehearsal system to familiarize themselves with the terrain and set up the mission by placing flags on the terrain to identify ingress waypoints and expected target areas based on the threat assessment they were provided. After the mission setup was completed the routes and flags data was downloaded to the man-wearable SVS and the operators donned their equipment and started the mission rehearsal. During rehearsal the soldiers see the route marking flags in the appropriate places on the terrain in their HMD and use them to guide entry into the area and to avoid danger areas. The ACS and C2V could also see the flags in their displays. In actual military operations, the entire squad would be equipped with embedded training systems and the rehearsal would be conducted from the back of the ICV or dismounted from the vehicle. The desktop SVS mission setup function would likely be accomplished on one of the systems in an FCS manned vehicle. Mounted/Dismounted Assessment Interoperability Demonstration

The ECATT-MR STO will address these and other deficiencies in future research. The STO will also research an embedded AAR with the ability to use intelligent agents to streamline the creation of scenarios, embedded intelligent tutoring technologies and AAR playback distributed to, for example, the visual systems of vehicles, and. The mission rehearsal system also will be expanded to include better visualization and capability to place control measures such as way points in the virtual environment. DISMOUNTED INFANTRY EMBEDDED TRAINING STTC‟s Embedded Training for Dismounted Soldiers (ETDS) STO is focused on visual and augmented reality technologies for training the dismounted soldier. The STO is producing technologies that will aid both the Land Warrior program and the Future Force Warrior (FFW) ATD in design of their embedded training capabilities. The STO focused on man-wearable embedded training solutions with the objective of integration into the FFW ATD system. The FFW ATD objectives of 50 pounds maximum fighting weight and the 24 hour individual and 72 hour autonomous team operations [6] create numerous challenges for the design of the wearable embedded systems. The STO has research efforts with several man-wearable virtual training solutions as discussed below. Solders Visualization Station (SVS) SVS is a product of Advanced Interactive Systems (AIS). This is likely the most widely known of the dismounted immersive systems. SVS has a desktop version, an immersive version using rear projection screens and a man-wearable configuration [7]. Dismounted Soldier Simulator (DSS) DSS is a product of General Dynamics C4 Systems. DSS uses a completely wireless immersive environment. DSS supports a desktop configuration and manwearable versions and data recording, data analysis and exercise control [8]. Distributed Advanced Graphics Generator & Embedded Rehearsal System (DAGGERS) DAGGERS is a product of Quantum 3D. In addition to creating a man-wearable immersive virtual system this effort is developing a small computer known as Thermite. Thermite is a high performance, real-time tactical visual computing system shown in Figure 5. A prototype of Thermite was demonstrated at STTC‟s I/ITSEC booth described above. The prototype had only 256M of memory which proved to be a performance

During and after the I/ITSEC demonstration, the TARDEC VERTRONIC team evaluated the technology for its potential use at a future embedded Engineering Evaluation Test (EET) with the CAT ATD testbed. The team identified several areas in the system that could be improved.  The dismounted systems should be able to control unmanned ground and aerial robotic assets.  The target handoff should support duplex communications so that message could pass from the ICV back to the soldier. There should also be more message types and a defined protocol.  Typical field exercises last many hours if not days. Alternatives to full time wear of HMDs during field exercises are needed to alleviate eye fatigue, headaches and nausea that are common symptoms associated wearing HMDs for periods of time as short as an hour [5].  Dismounts should have continued access to a common operational picture (COP) after departing the ICV.


issue. Future models will support 512M of memory. A GPU-equipped computer in this form factor will be a big step towards satisfying the size and weight restrictions of LW and FFW ATD embedded training systems [9].

used in the design of the current LW monocular. They are very light, rugged and have low power demand. STTC will likely support a future effort to build a battery powered panoramic HMD based on current OLED system. One possibility for non-immersive training situations is to utilize the CRIS or other PDA-like device for some training phases as discussed above. PDAs are also good choices for constructive, virtual desktop, or web based training [11].

Figure 5: Thermite Man-Wearable Computer COMMON DISMOUNTED INFANTRY EMBEDDED SIMULATION COMPONENTS Each of the systems described above is based on the integration of similar COTS components. The main differences among them are the communications software and the image rendering software. Major components and their design issues include the following. Helmet Mounted Displays (HMDs) This is likely the most challenging technology for dismounted embedded training. While commercial industry is driving the state of the art in many areas, industry has only limited interest in HMDs. The main commercial driver of HMD technology has been the medical field where it is used for arthroscopic and other remote vision surgeries. Land Warrior (LW) uses a monocular display (Figure 6). An earlier ETDS STO effort explored the use of this monocular display to support embedded training (Virtual Individual Combatant Trainer for Embedded Rehearsal (VICTER)) [10]. The single monocular display proved inadequate for virtual embedded training. Other HMD issues include device weight, field of view, resolution, brightness, power consumption, ruggedness and cost. Many of the current HMD systems fail to meet threshold levels for several of these issues. The most promising technology appears to be organic light emitting diodes (OLED). OLEDs are

Figure 6: Land Warrior Monocular Wearable Computers Current DI ES research systems use laptop computers in backpacks. While this is suitable for prototype demonstration it is clearly not the desired end state. The current LW computer system is about the same size as the Thermite computer discussed earlier. However, the LW computer lacks a GPU (a power hungry processor) and thus cannot provide 3D imagery. The Thermite computer discussed earlier includes a GPU. Although not fully embedded, a potential LW ET training solution could be to use the Thermite or similar small, GPUequipped computer for training and use the LW computer for operations. In the future STTC will continue work with small footprint computer development. The STO will also research an architecture that would allow sharing of CPU workloads (and perhaps power) between the man-wearable system and more robust computer platforms on FCS manned or unmanned systems. Movement Tracking Devices As a minimum, dismounted virtual simulation requires movement sensors for the head (to determine where the person is looking), body (to determine posture and direction the person is facing), and weapon (to


determine how the soldier is holding the weapon and where it is aimed). Additionally, sensors that track arm movements would be useful for hand and arm signals. Off-the-shelf tracking solutions require bulky transmitters or tracking systems. They typically come in 3 or 6 DOF. The most common tracker is the inertia 3D tracker which is small, but lacks fidelity. Future STO work will develop better tracking designs including a 6-DOF weapon tracker (Figure 7) for more accurate sighting of the weapon

better movement control method is clearly needed and will be a subject of future research. One motion generation alternative being explored is a pressure mat which tracks the movements of the trainee as they move in place. Augmented reality, the ability to mix real and virtual images, is another research area that may satisfy this requirement. Weapon Representation The soldier needs to see a virtual weapon in the HMD or monocular display in order to aim the weapon. However, in immersive virtual simulation, this requires a high resolution image of the weapon as well as high fidelity tracking of both the head and weapon movements to determine exactly where the trainee is aiming. Displaying the virtual weapon in a monocular display (Figure 6) presents a challenge as users of LW systems typically move the monocular display to the side, allowing them to view it when needed but not obstruct their field of view. A simple reticle in the visual display has been used by some systems to avoid the alignment problems of a virtual weapon. Weapon representation issues will be addressed in our future research, including augmented reality with a see-through HMD as a potential solution for this need. Sensor and Communications Integration The LW and FFW ATD systems will provide far more sophisticated sensor, voice and data communications than are available to the soldier today. This means more training will be necessary to allow the soldier of tomorrow to become proficient on these systems. The LW embedded video and communication systems will allow the soldier access to large amounts of new sensor feeds including weapon mounted video, and sensor feeds from unmanned air and ground vehicles. Future training systems will need to accurately model these video and communication systems. This will also be a topic addressed in future research. TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT FOR THE ETDS STO To evaluate man-wearable simulations in a relevant environment, a STO technology assessment is planned at Fort Benning in the July „04 time period. It will evaluate soldiers in a virtual MOUT site performing various tactical tasks. The assessment will focus on the capability of the wearable simulation to support the performance of soldier tasks, side effects (e.g. simulator sickness, fatigue) and human interface issues. The exercise will use the SVS rear projection system as well as a mix of three of the man-wearable embedded training systems described above with soldiers performing two exercises with each system. The

Figure 7: 6-DOF Sensor System system. One Tactical Engagement Simulation Systems (OneTESS) is researching a live training system that uses geometric pairing to match shooter and target. This technology also requires high resolution weapon orientation tracking to determine hits and misses. Likely the same tracking system that supports OneTESS could also support the embedded virtual simulation. STTC will track and leverage efforts with OneTESS with the goal of a common live-virtual tracking solution. Movement Control Methods Soldiers using embedded simulation need a method to move themselves around in the virtual environment. Buttons and joysticks attached to the weapon are used on all the immersive dismounted simulators listed above. The joystick is used to move the soldier and the buttons to switch weapons types, format messages and perform other special functions. This approach lacks the tactile feedback a trainee would receive in the real world. A


Dismounted Infantry Virtual After Action Review System (DIVAARS) will be used for AAR. DIVAARS is unique in that it supports visualization such as the user‟s view of movement both inside and outside buildings during urban operations [12]. Mounted/Dismounted Technology Evaluation in CAT Following the technology assessment at Fort Benning the ETDS STO technologies will merge into the ECATTMR STO. The focus of the combined STO will be embedded dismounted and mounted/dismounted training. In FY05, findings from the dismounted technology assessment will guide development of a man wearable system. On the mounted side, STTC‟s FCS ICV simulator will be used to develop prototype mission

rehearsal and AAR applications, and to develop training protocols between the mounted and dismounted soldiers. In FY06 the STO will continue work on a field capable dismounted ET system with the goal of a field evaluation of the technology with our TARDEC VETRONICS partners at the end of the year. A visual overview of a representative field test can be seen in Figure 8. Critical evaluation points will be ease of use under field conditions and ability to conduct an extended exercise. Other evaluation areas include the utility of this technology to support unmanned mission rehearsal meeting the needs of the ARV Robotic Technology (ART), Human Robotic Interaction (HRI) STOs. With the FCS impetus to merge training and operational systems, this event will bring together for the first time training and operational aspects of mounted and dismounted forces.

Figure 8: Proposed FY06 Engineering Evaluation Test of Mounted/Dismounted Embedded Training Interoperability
CONCLUSIONS The STTC STOs discussed in this paper have already demonstrated the feasibility of interoperable embedded training between mounted and dismounted forces, and the ETDS STO has made significant progress toward a fieldcapable dismounted embedded training system. In FY0506, the revised ECATT/MR STO (including now dismounted embedded training research) will begin to address areas already identified where research could improve technology readiness levels sufficient to transition the technologies to users such as FCS and FFW. REFERENCES 1. Embedded Training Definition for the Objective Force, US Army Training Support Center, Fort Monroe, VA, 20 April 2004, http://www.atsc. army.mil/TSAID/documents/EmbTrgDefine.asp 2. US Army Armor Center, Unit of Action Maneuver Battle Lab, TRADOC Pamphlet 525-3-90 O&O, United States Army Objective Force Operational and Organizational Plan Maneuver Unit of Action Change 2, Fort Knox, KY, 30 Jun 2003


3. Headquarters US Army Training and Doctrine Command, TRADOC Future Operational Capability Shortfalls, ,Jan 2004 4. Green G., et al, “Reusing Vehicle Simulation rd Software – Mission Impossible?” 3 Annual Intelligent Vehicle Conference, Jun 2003, Traverse City, MI 5. Stanney, K, et al, Handbook of Virtual Environments: Design, Implementation and Application, Lawrence Erlbaum Associated, Mahwah, NJ, 2002 6. Natick Soldier Center, Soldier, Chemical and Biological Command, Future Force Warrior Advanced Technology Demonstration ATD Briefing Charts, undated. 7. Advanced Interactive Systems Training Solutions – Soldier Visualization Station (SVS) http://www.aissim.com/svs.htm 8. General Dynamics Decision Systems Dismounted Soldier Simulation (DSS) http://www.gdds.com/simulation/ 9. Quantum 3D Success Stories, Distributed Advanced Graphics Generator & Embedded Rehearsal System (DAGGERS) http://www.quantum3d.com/stories/daggers.htm 10. Barham, P., et al, “VICTER, an Embedded Virtual Simulation System for Land Warrior (LW)”, Army Science Conference 2002, Dec 2002 11. Stallman, Laurence M., Blackwell, Cynthia L., “Embedded Training Concepts and Experimentation”, 8th Annual International Conference on Industrial Engineering Theory, Applications and Practice, Nov 2003, Las Vegas, NV 12. Knerr, Bruce W. and Lampton, Donald R., Martin, Glenn A., Washburn, Donald A., and Cope, Duvan, “Developing An After Action Review System For Virtual Dismounted Infantry Simulations”; Inter Service/Industry Training and Simulation Conference, Orlando, FL, Dec 2003

CONTACT INFORMATION MR. HENRY MARSHALL SIMULATION and TRAINING TECHNOLOGY CENTER US ARMY RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT AND ENGINEERING COMMAND 12343 Research Parkway Orlando, Fl 32826 Henry.A.Marshall@us.army.mil 407-384-3820 MR. Pat Garrity SIMULATION and TRAINING TECHNOLOGY CENTER US ARMY RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT AND ENGINEERING COMMAND 12343 Research Parkway Orlando, Fl 32826 Pat.Garrity@us.army.mil MR. PAUL BOUNKER VETRONICS TECHNOLOGY AREA US ARMY TANK-AUTOMOTIVE RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT AND ENGINEERING CENTER Warren, MI 48697-5000 586-574-5297 BounkerP@tacom.army.mil MR. GARY HALL GENERAL DYNAMICS – C4 SYSTEMS 12424 Research Parkway, Suite 390 Orlando, FL 32826 407-823-7017 407-823-7012 Gary.Hall@gdds.com MR. GARY GREEN INSTITUTE FOR SIMULATION AND TRAINING UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA 3280 Progress Drive Orlando, Fl 32826 407-882-1343 ggreen@ist.ucf.edu All products or services mentioned in this paper are the trademarks or service marks of their respective companies or organizations


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