I/ITSEC 2023: BAE Systems integrates Red 6 and PLEXSYS tech into single synthetic environment training solution
BAE Systems will integrate PLEXSYS and Red 6 augmented reality (AR) and immersive simulation technologies into its Project OdySSEy, the company announced on the second day of I/ITSEC 2023 in Orlando, Florida.
The move will combine BAE Systems’ OdySSEy with Red 6’s Advanced Tactical Augmented Reality Systems (ATARS) and PLEXSYS’ Advanced Simulation Combat Operations Trainer.
OdySSEy, essentially BAE Systems’ proof-of-concept demonstrator for developing an single synthetic environment (SSE), has brought together experts from simulation, supercomputing, data analytics, AR and VR to create an multi-domain training environment.
‘This [announcement] is more about a statement of intent on a shared level of ambition and how we’re going to unlock that by working together as a team,’ said Sir Stuart Atha, director of defence at BAE Systems.
The companies said the partnership would seek to create ‘an advanced, realistic training environment that will enhance tactical preparedness and decision-making training for students’.
PLEXSYS has already partnered with BAE Systems on its SSE programme, joining the effort last April when Phase 2 of OdySSEy kicked off. That phase focused on introducing more complexity and allowing BAE Systems to utilise the latest technologies, the company said at the time.
PLEXSYS president and CEO Ron Wiegand explained that the company has been integrating with the consortium BAE Systems has pulled together for OdySSEy.
‘We’ve done some exploring and requirements definition, and we’ve fostered introducing Red 6 [into that],’ Wiegand said.
Red 6 has also been working with BAE Systems. At last year’s I/ITSEC, the two companies signed an MoU to explore the integration of Red 6’s ATARS onto the Hawk T2. Atha said BAE Systems was ‘absolutely determined’ to complete that integration by working with Red 6 and in support of the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the UK MoD.
‘I am confident that that element of the capability…we’ll be moving in the next year into that,’ he said.
In the context of OdySSEy, ATARS could augment live, virtual and constructive (LVC) training to an extent unseen before.
‘One of the problems with LVC training is that you could do it beyond visual range, but at certain point, you had to terminate that training engagement,’ Kevin Fesler, CRO of Red 6 told Shephard. ‘By teaming with BAE Systems and PLEXSYS, we now close that LVC training system, and we can get to the desired learning objectives because we meet a logical conclusion [in a training scenario].’
Atha emphasised that the companies involved would look at OdySSEy as an approach rather than a programme. The company officials could not disclose a timeline when a full-scale LVC demonstration could take place, but Atha said the consortium would move forward quickly.
‘We are ambitious and we will be moving quickly on this,’ Atha confirmed. ‘It’s not going to be an “over the horizon” milestone. This is something we want to deliver in as quick [of] a time as possible, but there are other factors that come into play about the specifics of the timeline.’
BAE Systems has introduced other third-party simulators to prove the plug-and-play technology aspect of OdySSEy, the company told Shephard at DSEI 2023 in London earlier this year.
Lucy Walton, head of training at BAE Systems said during he London event: ‘We’re working really closely with the Varjo team to look at what the future of VR, MR technologies, biometrics and sensors [holds], and the information we can pull from those headsets.’
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