Entity Automation for VBS3 Game Environment

Customer

U.S Army, PEO STRI
Mission Command Training Centers

Application

Integrated voice communications and entity automation for gaming training environment in support of mission command training events.

U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii's Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security

Challenges &
Solutions

The challenge requirements are listed in blue, ASTi's applicable components are in black:

U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii's Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security

Reduced exercise overhead and increased throughput

During Army training exercises, highly-skilled staff frequently performed low-level tasks. These tasks included listening to virtual radios for trainee battle commands and manually triggering VBS3™ tactical game scripts to activate entity behaviors. Training a single soldier in a standard platoon maneuver with four tanks required fifteen soldiers to role-play tank drivers, gunners, and other minor roles. The Army needed a cost-effective, drop-in simulation that could increase trainee throughput while reducing instructor and role-player workload.

ASTi’s Construct automated overhead tasks, producing a trainee throughput increase of 15 to 1. Before, exercises required 15 soldiers to support one command trainee; with Construct, all 16 soldiers can train simultaneously. To achieve Live Virtual Constructive (LVC) training capabilities, Construct automated Virtual Battlespace 3 (VBS3)-generated tanks using animated entities that can recognize and understand human speech. As a result, trainees and animated entities can correspond over virtual radios, and tank entities exhibit realistic behaviors, such as moving into formations, traversing to waypoints, and shooting at targets.

Increased reliability & guaranteed interoperability

The Army’s legacy, in-game VBS3 virtual radios were unreliable, causing exercise downtime and decreasing throughput. Additionally, the virtual radios were not interoperable with the customer’s Live Virtual Constructive-Integrating Architecture (LVC-IA). This architecture links Games For Training to virtual simulators, like the Aviation Combined Arms Tactical Trainer (AVCATT) and Close Combat Tactical Trainer (CCTT).

ASTi replaced the virtual radios with Voisus, a radio communication environment providing guaranteed interoperability across the LVC-IA program. Voisus encompasses games, virtual simulators, and constructive simulations, such as OneSAF. Additionally, Voisus is field-proven across all of the DoD’s training programs, including the following:

  • Air Force DMO
  • Navy NASMP and NCTE
  • Marine Corps ADVTE
  • Joint Staff JNTC

Increased simulation fidelity

The legacy VBS3 radios could not operate in all of the LVC-IA virtual simulators’ advanced communication modes. To communicate with VBS3 game players, aircrews using AVCATT helicopter simulators set up and operated onboard radios in an unrealistic, dumbed-down manner.

Voisus’s radio environment shares the same technology of past radios that ASTi successfully integrated into the Army’s multi-million dollar helicopter simulators. Additionally, Voisus offers trainees advanced crypto and frequency hopping radio modes and physics-based interference and ranging effects.

Information Assurance (IA) compliance

The customer required easy-to-maintain, ongoing compliance with stringent DoD cybersecurity certification and accreditation processes.

The Army’s training and simulation command, PEO STRI, subscribed to ASTi’s IA maintenance program. This program provides periodic software-hardening packages that are easy to install, thus relieving the customer’s technical staff of difficult, time-consuming IA chores. ASTi’s current generation server products are based on Red Hat® Enterprise Linux®, the most certified operating system (OS) available today. The IA program is an ideal security solution for customers who require even more rigorous IA controls, conformance to DoD standards, and OS patch management throughout the product’s lifetime.

ASTi products have continually held an active ATO since the early 2000s (i.e., DITSCAP, migrating to DIACAP and RMF). For more information about ASTi’s IA compliance and ATO accreditation, see Information Assurance and Security.

Components Deployed

Voisus Clients

Live, Virtual, Constructive & Gaming (LVC-G) voice communication delivered to PCs, tablets, and games

Features:

  • Clients: run on a variety of platforms and integrate seamlessly with Construct to capture student audio for analysis and transmit synthetic speech responses to the appropriate trainee. Voisus features a VBS3 radio plug-in that seamlessly integrates ASTi radios into the game.
  • Radios: realistic ranging effects mimic real-world radio communications.
  • Easy installation: ASTi's VBS3 Manager scans hosting computers and automatically detects existing VBS installations and missions and facilitates activation of Voisus clients for specific installations and missions.

Construct

Create an active communications environment

Features:

  • Voice-Enabled Entities: allows you to add voice interaction and communication to intelligent agents, create and integrate custom behaviors, or create AIs that communicate and respond based on what they know and hear.
  • Intelligent Communications: allows you to create intelligent communication behaviors within Construct or interface with your own or third-party AI. Either way, Construct gives you the flexibility to quickly add simple to complex behavior models wherever you need them.