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Activity title

Cross Panel Activity on Synthetic Environments for Mission Effectiveness Assessment

Activity Reference



Human Factors and Medicine

Security Classification



Awaiting Publication

Activity type


Start date


End date



Acquisition, Interpanel Coordination, Mission Effectiveness, Performance Assessment, Simulation, Synthetic Environments, Systems Engineering, Test & Evaluation, Training


The advancements in the science and technologies associated with modeling and simulation (M&S) technologies have been common and widespread within the military alliance for decades. Human in the loop mission development, simulation-based acquisitions and the use of “virtual environments” are becoming a futuristic approach for human-system development and assessment throughout the international alliances and their industrial partners. The use of the most sophisticated modeling and simulation technologies that can assess mission effectiveness are required to meet the current and future STO priorities and hopefully will become a part of NATO’s defense preparedness throughout the Alliance. This is due in part to the maturity of these enabling M&S technologies and the government’s attempts to drive costs down while working within the need for a reduction of Defence manpower. At least four of our S&T panels and Group have active research technology efforts active or planned to focus on the development and use of the M&S to encourage the use of synthetic environments. The chairmen of these activities decided that rather than to pursue their goals separately, it was prudent to work as an intra STO team to use the joint capabilities inherent in these STO activities to develop a single activity for the CSO that focused on a joint, collaborative science and technology approach using the best each of them had to offer regarding synthetic environments. The leaders of these activities acknowledge that the rapid advances in M&S have provided our nations the ability to identify/develop many M&S outreach tools using the latest computer graphics, natural language processing, web content and artificial intelligence technologies. Using M&S to create realistic synthetic environment provides the means to design and evaluate new alternative military systems in terms of realistic scenarios and to develop effective training capabilities response to our military personnel will use and maintain these new systems. Increasingly these technologies being deployed on stand-alone PC’s, the Internet, game-consoles, and mobile devices. Although we have yet to use them through the entire R,D,T&E pre-acquisition process the vision for such use is resident in each of the panels. It is becoming recognized that M&S can significantly influence the next generation of all levels of granularity within the system design and training process. Each part of the system design process requires extensive attention to mission relevant application, human factors design issues, and extensive attention to rigorous validation to assure that platforms are both safe and efficacious. Synthetic Environments integrate human in the loop mission simulations with simulated war fighting environments to provide a mission effectiveness level of analysis for training, system engineering, and CONOP development. Evaluation of the performance outcomes is a critical focus that can be most cost-effectively conducted using synthetic (M&S) based capabilities prior to actually engineering the final products.


The central idea or rational behind this multi-disciplinary Technology Team is to establish an inter-panel activity on "Synthetic Environments for Mission Effectiveness Assessment." This collaborative activity would build on the recent report from HFM-216 on Synthetic Environments for Assessment. The chairman of NMSG also expressed strong interest and support in the use of M&S in Acquisition and Engineering domain. Mr. Bharat (Dstl, SCI) sees links with their SEBA work in UK. As we progress further with the resultant RTG we will discuss the possible addition of more application areas / cases as well as other panels. For example, perhaps cyber, peacekeeping or remote warfare (UxV), etc.?


The main topic is to explore the use of modeling, simulation, gaming and related software based technologies to develop training and system engineering applications critical to effective human-system design and analysis, with emphasis on the R,D,T&E of improved mission effective human-system capabilities. The goal is to provide more focus on the user interface and the warfighter in the field. Specifically: 1. Identify metrics for assessing and predicting mission effectiveness of the warfighter’s system in the context of specific realistic and validated mission scenarios. 2. Identify technology gaps in M&S technology development and project a “way ahead” meet the future mission needs. 3. Explore civilian simulations which can be leveraged for military applications 4. Identify technology application opportunities related to the effective use of M&S for synthetic environments in training and system engineering within NATO mission contexts. 5. Summarize Human System challenges and policies to support the effective design and objective evaluation of traditional M&S technologies 6. Identify technology opportunities for active collaboration and additional investment and develop strategic roadmap

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