From Live Scenarios to Virtual Reality, Police/Military Look to Simulators for Training

Simulators are a standard training tool used in law enforcement, the military and medicine
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Simulators are a standard training tool used in law enforcement, the military and medicine, and those systems work for the U.S. Army because of rigorous standards and oversight, according to the head of an Army simulation training agency.

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General Dynamics’ InForce Tactical Instrumentation records the action as police storm a building during hostage rescue training.

“We’re the keepers of the standards,” U.S. Army Col. Anthony Krogh, director of the Army’s National Simulation Center (NSC) at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., told Government Video. The NSC is “the leader in the simulation community for Army training,” and it is the warfighters’ representative for establishing simulator requirements, he said.

The NSC conducts tests and evaluations of simulation systems to ensure they meet the Army’s standards and requirements, Krogh said. The NSC is at “two ends of the equation,” he added. The first is to set the requirements for each simulation system. “We work with the soldiers and the command that create the requirements based on the Army’s training strategies,” he said. Then “we write the requirements that will say: ‘We need a device that does A, B and C for certain training.’”

The second end of the equation occurs once a simulator is approved for use and it has been “fielded out Army-wide,” Krogh said. The NSC then conducts continuous oversight of the product throughout its use. “Once it gets fielded we have a responsibility to monitor it,” he added. An example of the scrutiny the NSC places on the simulators: one simulation has been active for 25 years and is in the process of being retired, yet the center is “still making corrections to it because for as long as soldiers train with it, we keep making it better.”

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Christie Digital Systems’ Matrix StIM

MATRIX StIM

Christie Digital Systems USA Inc. offers its Matrix StIM projector, a light-emitting diode (LED) illuminated simulation projector that provides independent control over both the visible and infrared spectrum. In addition, it is an “intelligent projection system” that enables real-time balancing of both color and brightness levels, and it offers “solid-state illumination,” the company says.

The Matrix StIM is a highly scalable, integrated environment projection system, with the emphasis on “system,” said Dave Kanahele, Christie’s director of simulation solutions. Rather than comparing projector technology to projectors themselves, Christie’s simulations customers use the projectors as part of an array, he said.

The Canadian government is using the Matrix StIM projector in a simulation of its Hercules Observer Trainer (HOT) CC130 J-model transport aircraft. The StIM projectors are part of a crew station mock-up that includes a hemispheric screen where images are blended to provide a high-resolution, wide-field view from the CC130-J aircraft trainer. The HOT depicts missiles and gunfire that trains crews to recognize, report and respond to the images. Data shows that aircraft crews who trained on the HOT made 79 percent fewer errors, Christie says.

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Soldiers train in a virtual world created by Quantum3D’s ExpeditionDI.

EXPEDITIONDI

Quantum3D, a provider of real-time simulation and embedded visual computing solutions, offers its ExpeditionDI, a self-contained, wearable and fullyimmersive close combat infantry simulator training platform, that provides a virtual training environment to reinforce the skills needed for mission success. In use for over five years, ExpeditionDI is equipped with a high-resolution head-mounted display and fully integrated wearable computing pack, and it responds to body and weapon movements, according to John Carswell, program manager for CG2, the Quantum3D subsidiary that developed the system. Those advanced technologies enable an infantry squad to move through and interact in a virtual environment while fighting and communicating as they would in a realworld combat situation, he said.

The only way to increase warfighter safety and effectiveness is with more and better training beforehand, Carswell said. ExpeditionDI allows soldiers and other personnel to train in a safe environment. A major feature of the system is it can record training sessions, allowing soldiers and other agencies to playback their session and analyze what they did wrong as well as what was beneficial, he said.

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Officers confront an armed suspect in Cubic Simulation Systems’ Engagement Skills Trainer 2000

EST 2000

Cubic Simulation Systems, a technology and specialized services company, offers its “Engagement Skills Trainer” (EST) 2000, which is mostly used to train police officers. Because most police agencies require officers to qualify with handguns once or twice per year—each expending about 40 rounds of ammunition during weapons qualification—the savings gained by using a simulator is not on bullets, but on training costs, said Brooks Davis, Cubic’s business development manager. By using the simulator for training, police departments can save money by reducing the number of instructors needed during those session, he said.

There are over 400 scenarios on the EST 2000 which provides three modes of training, including “marksmanship,” for which customizable courses can be developed; “collective,” with active shooter scenarios; and “shoot/don’t shoot,” which provides judgmental use of force situations, according to Cubic. Officers must undergo judgmental use of force training in which they determine when the use of deadly force is appropriate, said Davis, who is also a reserve police officer. “When I say ‘judgmental use of force,’ they will be presented with scenarios where they might end up using a TASER or pepper spray, or with a situation in which discharging their service weapon is the appropriate response,” he said. “It’s very inexpensive to do that training on the simulator, as opposed to trying to recreate that live,” he added.

INFORCE

However, police agencies that want to conduct live scenario training can deploy General Dynamics’ (GD) mobile InForce Tactical Instrumentation to create simulations and record how well personnel performed, says GD, a producer of combat technologies. The InForce Tactical Instrumentation system is a lightweight and portable unit that requires minimal set-up time, according to GD. The InForce has “special effects components” for realistic, live sensory experiences and enhanced situational awareness training in close-quarters operations. The system contains a camera with day/night capability, a microphone for two-way audio, a speaker for recorded sound effects, operator-controlled power output, Ethernet power and GD command and control integrated technology software, the company says.

Because the InForce system is portable, law enforcement agencies can implement simulation training at different locations, said Tony Oxford, GD’s senior director for integrated instrumentation. The InForce system enables departments to record training simulations so the organizations can study how well their personnel did, but without having to rely on a permanent video system, he said. “Video never lies, and the power of this system is the afteraction review,” he said. That review enables the users to see a participant’s “individual actions, and how those actions affect the operation, and ultimately the outcome of an event,” he said.

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