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The simulation environment of the future

The specialist area Research Management and Operations Research of armasuisse Science and Technology (S+T) has set up a test laboratory over the last few months in cooperation with Training and Education Command, in order to thoroughly examine the possible simulation environments of the future. Key findings from this are now being integrated in the Armed Forces’ simulation concept and are thus helping to develop the simulation landscape of the future.

15.10.2021 | Dr. Adrian Schneider, Dr. Michael Rüegsegger, Operations Research e analisi di sistemi, armasuisse S+T

Printscreen of a simulation application: the Patriot mobile surface-to-air defence system on Gurnigel fires a missile.
Mobile Patriot ground air defence system on Gurnigel Pass fires missiles. If these types of virtual experiments are carried out in large numbers at various different locations, valuable information could be gained in a cost-effective manner.

Today’s simulation landscape in the Swiss Armed Forces consists of a variety of highly-specific systems. These includes for example, training simulators for land systems, aircrafts as well as command and control.

These largely proprietary silo applications can neither be networked nor can cost- and time-saving development synergies be used. Multi-domains and joint analyses and training will be prevented by this type of architecture.

Over the past few years, the gaming industry has introduced numerous simulation applications to the market, which enable increased networking and a high degree of flexibility. The established principle of opened interfaces enables own and enemy forces to be represented and allows even ballistic models to be exchanged. An already extensive catalogue of soldiers, vehicles, effectors and sensors can be extended with specific objects and their programmed features. All this enables the modelling of diverse, cross-operational scenarios, which can be executed via a network independent of location.

AI in simulation environments

Here too, as in so many other areas, artificial intelligence is a pioneer of new options. Soldiers, platoons and companies can be completely replaced by what are known as “AI agents”, which automatically execute commands. The labour-intensive training of higher-ranking levels or the review of a doctrine would thus be considerably simplified.

In the armasuisse S+T test laboratory, these novel simulation environments will be examined and ultimately assessed with regard to their suitability in terms of Concept Development and Experimentation (CD&E) and mission support, as well as education and training. The aim is to find out what the novel products can do and how they can be networked sensibly to cover a variety of different applications. The findings and proposals will then be integrated into the simulation concept of the Armed Forces in cooperation with Training and Education Command in order to enable an assessment of these technologies early on in the concept phase.