Virtual War Games
Navy SBIR 2011.1 - Topic N111-084
SPAWAR - Ms. Summer Jones - email@example.com
Opens: December 13, 2010 - Closes: January 12, 2011
N111-084 TITLE: Virtual War Games
TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems, Sensors, Battlespace, Human Systems, Weapons
ACQUISITION PROGRAM: SPAWAR 05 Assessments and Experimentation
RESTRICTION ON PERFORMANCE BY FOREIGN CITIZENS (i.e., those holding non-U.S. Passports): This topic is "ITAR Restricted." The information and materials provided pursuant to or resulting from this topic are restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120 - 130, which control the export of defense-related material and services, including the export of sensitive technical data. Foreign Citizens may perform work under an award resulting from this topic only if they hold the "Permanent Resident Card", or are designated as "Protected Individuals" as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). If a proposal for this topic contains participation by a foreign citizen who is not in one of the above two categories, the proposal will be rejected.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) topic is to develop a virtual war game capability to provide more practice time and greater opportunity for the war fighter to exercise capability by augmenting table top games, experiments and exercise deployments. This effort will provide a useful complement to assessments with multiple platforms and many personnel that are costly and infrequent. Furthermore, a virtual game can provide for many more excursions and conditions and can involve more participants without travel and resources utilizing existing network resources. A virtual environment can simulate the objects of an exercise with remote access to network services to provide a 3D immersive environment. This effort will demonstrate the operational utility and effectiveness of virtual games.
DESCRIPTION: This solicitation will advance the conduct of war games and implement their execution in a virtual world, thus immensely broadening the scope and effectiveness of this important enterprise-wide activity. The virtual war game will simulate combatant platforms, systems, sensors, personnel (individual and/or groups) and fusion centers, and as such will include kinetic as well as non-kinetic engagement. The virtual war game will incorporate agent-based models for decision support, thus permitting examination of red and blue decisions and augmentation of real participants. The simulation shall provide for realistic communications by allocating resources (channel and bandwidth) between elements of the war game. Communications effects shall be considered that will include, but not be limited to, propagation channel effects, interference, terrain, geometry and network topology. The virtual game shall include federated models on the network, thus leveraging the variety and depth of simulation suites available in the DoD. The virtual simulation shall reflect realistic command and control and network operations that include decision support in non-ideal circumstances (e.g. ambiguity, conflict and capacity shortages).
The fundamental supporting technology exists in the commercial space but needs to be adapted for DoD applications in a DoD environment. Virtual gaming environments indeed exist but, aside from the choice of existing technology, R&D will be manifested in the added content, extensions and augmentation of the virtual technology. Much work is underway to provide immersive training through virtual environments. However, current work is on a small scale where this topic will show the feasibility on a much larger scale. Using and adapting a virtual environment to provide a representation of the command, control, communications, computer and intelligence (C4I) problem with full spectrum, complex and concurrent information operations with necessary fidelity is an R&D challenge. Realism and relevance is essential for war fighter value. Supporting a wide range of operations and scaling with transparency for all but military essential detail will be a challenge.
The objective of phase I is to provide an interactive and immersive virtual environment to demonstrate non-kinetic warfare and defensive operations with simulated objects and agents and real participants. The representation of the problem and design shall simulate realistic communications within the virtual world to effectively represent platforms, sensors, perception, fusion cells and kinetic engagement. Existing virtual environments will allow war fighters to access a virtual battle space but realism must be provided and, in fact, may require a federation with other models. Realistic physical properties, constraints and performance of communications between actual systems and personnel on platforms (moving and fixed), and operational protocols must be reflected. A red and blue common operating picture and status must be provided that perhaps provides a dashboard with attrition statistics and intent assessments. Clearly, innovation is required to place the war fighters in a virtual world that validates operational effectiveness. Operations shall be supported at all levels of a battle group with CONUS connectivity for realism at sensor operator, reach back support provider, commander, planner and decision maker levels.
The innovation is to develop the content and extensions for this new media and augmentation (e.g. federation) that will effectively complement exercises and experiments to assess information dominance, i.e., effectiveness and vulnerability. Currently, assessments rely on real assets with limited objectives at great expense. Virtual technology will mitigate these limitations as is done in medicine, flight training and engineering. Participation in the virtual environment must require minimal participant training to provide a focus on operations.
PHASE I: Phase I shall develop a concept, design and architecture to achieve stated objectives and explore an implementation and a trade space to recommend solutions. The trade space must reveal a life cycle support plan, roadmap for growth and portability. The architecture should show the provisioning of a client-server topology for a secure network (DREN, SDREN or SIPRnet) to support a demonstration of operationally meaningful activities. The architecture shall provide a means of object reuse, rapid content development and maximum leverage to support broad virtual world operations. Phase I shall show that leverage of models and simulations across the network can be applied. The architecture shall support multiple geographically distributed red/blue players and perception management with neutral observer/controllers having ground truth maintenance. Phase I shall provide cost and scalability in the trade space.
PHASE II: Phase II shall build a limited prototype on a selected R&D and/or operational network and comply with certification and accreditation requirements. Prospective users and transition sponsors would play simple games with assistance. War games shall be conducted with geographically distributed players for selected scenarios that realize stated objectives.
A successful and transitionable Phase II effort will yield a virtual war gaming environment that will be of interest to the Naval War College (NWC) and other war gaming activities. DoD subject matter and modeling experts will advise with recent experience and might host the capability beyond phase I. Measures of Effectiveness (MOEs) for the game will be based upon such measurable parameters as follows
The metrics for the gaming capability developed under this SBIR are as follows.
Leverage of existing venues for transition should be pursued to reduce development and supportability cost. , ,  Extensibility shall be considered.
PHASE III: Phase III will implement capability at a larger scale for a virtual campaign with greater participation by the operational community. High performance environments will be leveraged as necessary and lessons from phase II will be captured for institutionalized (curriculum adaptated) virtual experiments.
PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: Private sector application will follow to support the infrastructure and develop additional objects and models for a broad range of operations. Data capture automation and reduction will inspire further development. Other industries such as training will naturally follow.
KEYWORDS: virtual environment, wargames, experiments, models, simulations, information technology, perception, mission effectiveness, training, assessments