Training

Improbable continues to build UK synthetic environment

18th November 2020 - 09:30 GMT | by Trevor Nash in Holsworthy

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Improved computational power and modern technologies including AI, machine learning and cloud computing are enabling synthetic environment training programmes to achieve more

Improbable’s defence business has been awarded a contract for a second year to further develop and extend a Single Synthetic Environment (SSE) Technology Demonstrator for UK Strategic Command.

This award follows hot on the heels of another contract awarded to the company by the British Army in the summer to support its Collective Training Transformation Programme (CTTP).

One interesting aspect of the SSE project is the joint development that Improbable says is achieved by ‘embedding military personnel with the contractor in an integrated project team and using an “agile methodology” which puts the military user at the centre of design and development'.

Although synthetic environments are not new, improved computational power and modern technologies including AI, machine learning and cloud computing are enabling programmes such as SSE to achieve much more.

The company envisages that 'synthetic environments will be virtual worlds capable of realistically simulating the complexity of the modern world, and enabling military users to experiment, test plans, conduct training and improve overall organisational preparedness before taking real-world decisions’.

‘SSE has the potential to enable decision-makers at every level – from political to tactical – to test and rehearse policy choices and military courses of action in a rigorous, data-driven way,’ said Joe Robinson, CEO of the defence business at Improbable.

‘This will allow them to assess probable consequences with a far greater and more data-driven level of confidence than has previously been achievable,' he told Shephard.

The second Strategic Command award follows the completion of an initial 12-month contract to create a prototype SSE that supports a detailed simulation of a part of the real world.

‘This second year will see us building on what we achieved in the first year and adding increased capabilities such as moving to the cloud,’ said Robinson.

As a sub-contractor to Improbable, CAE helped establish the project in the first year and will continue its support in the second year through the provision of products and services such as modelling and computer-generated forces.

Commenting on the SSE award, Gen Sir Patrick Sanders, Commander UK Strategic Command, described it as 'a critical accelerant to Britain's Armed Forces transformation for the Information Age'.

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