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DSEI 2021: CAE Counterpart - Heralding the future?

14th September 2021 - 14:45 GMT | by Trevor Nash in Holsworthy


The Cognitive Layer of Counterpart, showing social media contacts. (Photo: CAE)

CAE is exhibiting its own Counterpart SSE at DSEI and is set to demonstrate to NATO in 2022.

Following its work with Improbable on the UK’s Single Synthetic Environment (SSE) programme, CAE will use this year’s DSEI to highlight its own National Synthetic Environment.

Known as Counterpart, CAE has launched its solution to counter ‘existential threats to national security and resilience that many countries are now facing', Gen (Ret) Sir Richard Barrons, former commander of the UK Joint Forces Command and now VP global government relations & strategy at CAE, told Shephard.

Government and armed forces leaders face a far more challenging, uncertain and complex strategic context than ever before and this threat is evolving at pace. Barons said that Counterpart ‘covers a spectrum of uses including planning, decision support and training’.

According to CAE, their new offering will help users ‘decide faster and have the ability to more rapidly plan, direct, communicate and deliver effective action and outcomes’.

Counterpart is a digital ecosystem or digital twin SSE. It provides a digital replication of the real world that may represent a city, country, geographic region or alliance.

CAE's DSEI demonstration will feature central London. (Photo: CAE)

In essence, CAE’s SSE has four distinct layers. A Physical Layer covers terrain and infrastructure. The latter may include power, water, gas, telecoms, roads, rail, airports etc. Weather is also provided in real-time.

The Human Layer goes down to individual level and includes households that show where the population is in real time. This requires mobile phone tracking and also includes demography and health patterns.

The Cognitive Layer includes what’s trending, group emotions and sentiments determined by tracking social media. This level can also measure government actions by analysing what people are talking about on social and mainstream media.

Finally, the Resource Layer overlays the position and condition of assets used by the armed forces or emergency services, for example.

Built on open standards to aid integration, CAE Counterpart uses AI and data fusion, making extensive use of the cloud to achieve what Barons described as ‘a transformational opportunity for every country’. 

In terms of availability, he added, ‘CAE can do today by drawing in partners'.

One training application could see Counterpart used as a command and staff trainer, with a variety of different simulated assets fed into the various layers to create a number of varying training scenarios.

The future of adoption of Counterpart will see it offered to governments and military forces, with a demonstration to NATO set for next year, such systems are seen as offering a valuable answer to many emerging questions surrounding the shape of future conflicts.

The UK SSE programme is being led by Improbable. Both demonstrator phases are understood to be completed at Strategic Command is now analysing the outcomes.

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