DSET 2022 has come to a close. Despite being one of the smaller events in the defence sector, it preceded its reputation as being a key meeting point between governments and industry. For those of us active in the defence simulation community, it’s no secret that it is tight knit and highly interconnected. For both the pleasure of seeing familiar faces and our own continued development, it was a highly informative and enjoyable experience.
We were also able to attend Defence Information 2022 (DI22), also in Bristol, where Defence Digital were able to further develop discussion around the digital transformation, greater exploitation of cloud capabilities and service, AI and ML, and the rapid exploitation of multiple data sources to support military capability and decision making.
As we’ve mentioned before, we often find collective training and multi-domain integration as perhaps the most key concern when curating future technologies. What isn’t perhaps as obvious, is the true extent to which solutions for these challenges can also provide compelling decision support tools, which we found to be a hotly discussed topic at both DSET and DI22 this year.
Collective training is of course a broad term. And in the case of decision support systems, it places a significant importance on their ‘openness’ and agnosticity. It was this openness, whether it be technical (open architecture) or commercial, that is central to the realisation of the visions for digital transformation as a whole, or programmes such as the Defence Synthetic Environment Platform (DSET), the Collective Training Transformation Programme (CTTP) and Maritime Command and Staff Trainer (MCAST).
It was interesting (and reassuring) to learn that both the vision and challenges associated with using simulation as a key element of both individual and collective training solutions are shared with our foreign allies. Brig Gen William Glaser, head of the US Army’s Synthetic Training Environment Cross-functional Team, spoke passionately about their efforts to enrich the experience of the warfighter when conducting synthetic collective and staff training. He also spoke of the challenges associated with scale, integration and security.
What was also clear from our discussions is the need to look past the use of static databases and fixed parameters when seeking to exploit data to create accurate and meaningful insights. Across every dimension, whether it be wargaming, supply chain and logistics, they’re are an unfathomable number of different possibilities. At any point, assuming something is fixed can lead you to huge strategic blindspots. Decision support systems must therefore deliver the performance necessary to work with dynamic and changing data sets, potentially running hundreds of thousands of simulations in parallel.
For all of these reasons, it was fantastic to get to talk at length with attendees about our recent work with BAE and CAE on synthetic training environments, and Cervus, where we have built a decision support system for the MoD’s DASA programme. To find out more about this, please go here.
These topics have of course been pertinent for a number of years; but we also saw some more novel ideas finding ground. ‘Metaverse’ concepts were at the centre of discussions at both DSET and DI22. Obviously advances in simulation technology pertains to the military, but as an ‘industrial’ metaverse emerges, it will be intriguing to see how quickly the benefits of the metaverse could be exploited by defence organisations. Two particular points around this seem to stand out to me:
One is the challenge that the metaverse is solving is in advancing our fidelity and connectivity of online simulations. The technology is making virtual experiences more immersive and increasing the number of people who can interact within these worlds. This will revolutionise how many actors can interact within a military simulation and the feeling of reality experienced.
Secondly, we’re also seeing how the metaverse may provide easier logistical options for the military. If things like selecting loadouts or organising inventory can be done virtually and remotely, this may offer huge financial and sustainability benefits.
As ever our booth at DSET received some heavy footfall and it was great to enter into discussions in the margins of both the DSET and DI22 conference programs. We can’t wait to continue a number of the exciting conversations that began there. To find out more about Hadean’s solutions in Defence, please follow this link.