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Activity title

Evolution of NATO Standards for Federated Simulation

Activity Reference



NATO Modelling and Simulation Group

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Certification, Federation agreement, HLA, NETN FOM


NATO and the Nations regularly use distributed simulation based on the High Level Architecture (HLA) interoperability standard. The current release is IEEE 1516TM-2010. In the NATO context, several official documents are available to standardize the use of HLA: - STANAG-4603 describing the HLA standard. - STANREC-4800 describing the NATO Education Training Network Federation Object Model (NETN FOM) and the associated Federation Architecture and FOM Design (FAFD). The STANREC is still being processed and the results will be available by end-2017. - Certification process (including Capability Badges for Simulation Interoperability), certification framework and tools (Integration Verification Certification Tool and Executable Test Cases). The work is still in progress by MSG-134 and the results will be available by the end of 2017. NATO NMSG has a close relationship and a Technical Agreement with the Simulation Interoperability Standards Organization (SISO) with respect to Simulation Interoperability Standards and has provided significant input to SISO standards development over the years. E.g. MSG-068 and MSG-106 provided significant input on the modularization of RPR-FOM v2.0, and other MSGs have provided significant input on C-BML, MSDL and UCATT SISO standards. NATO is also a user of SISO developed standards including IEEE 1516TM (HLA) series of standards which is covered in STANAG 4603. NATO nations and partner nations have successfully applied SISO and NATO standards when developing Federated Simulations to support Education, Training, Exercise and Evaluation (ETEE). E.g. the Swedish Viking Exercises are based on Federated Simulation using STANAG 4603 and NETN FAFD. Other NMSG Task Groups apply the SISO and NATO standards to support different aspects of M&S, e.g. MSG-147 is developing NETN FAFD FOM modules for Crisis Management and Disaster Response, MSG-136 is developing the concept of Modeling & Simulation as a Service (MSaaS) to manage Federated Simulation etc. Experiences and feedback on these standards are collected by nations and provided either directly to SISO or through NATO NMSG activities. MSG-134 has been tasked to support MS3 in maintaining and collecting feedback on the use of NETN FAFD (AMSP-04/STANREC 4800). This feedback includes proposed updates to existing NETN FAFD modules and proposals for entirely new modules identified by NATO and partner nations. As IEEE standards should be updated every ten years, a dedicated Product Development Group (PDG) for further development of the HLA standard was established by SISO in 2016. This PDG collects all comments on the existing standard and execute SISO processes to develop the next version of HLA, identified as HLA 4. At the same time, an NMSG Exploratory Team (ET-046) was established to provide input to the SISO HLA PDG based on NATO and partner nation’s experiences in applying STANAG 4603 and the NETN FAFD. Comments and recommendations were developed by contributing nations (FRA, DEU, NLD, SWE and USA), documented in a final report and provided to SISO. There is a continued need for NATO to experiment with, update and further evolve NATO Standards for Federated Simulation to meet new and evolving simulation interoperability requirements and to harmonize with new and evolving SISO standards.


The objective of this Technical Activity Proposal is to further evolve the NATO standards for Federated Simulation. This includes the evaluation of the future HLA 4 standard and update of the NETN FAFD (AMSP-04/STANREC 4800) based on existing input, verification and validation in experimentation. The aim is to harmonize NATO standardization agreements, recommendations and standards profiles, by: a. Collaborating with SISO to contribute actively to the new version of the HLA standard b. Evaluating the new features of the evolving HLA standard c. Improving the NATO data products regarding HLA (Federation Object Model, Federation Architecture and FOM Design, etc.) d. Improving the NATO HLA Certification Service e. Updating the NATO reference documents regarding HLA (STANAG, STANREC and AMSP, etc.) The expected deliverables and end products are the following: • Technical Report, including recommendations about the implementation of the new HLA standard • New release of the certification process and tool (IVCT) introduced by MSG-134 • New release of NETN FAFD introduced by MSG-134 • Proposals to update STANAG-4603, STANREC-4800 and AMSP-01 • Papers and publications (e.g. ITEC, I/ITSEC, SISO SIW, NATO CAX Forum and NMSG BM)


The following topics/tasks will be covered by this activity, ordered by objective (from a. to e.): a1. Collaborate closely with SISO HLA PDG by aligning tasks with PDG activities and exchange results (including the track of the HLA comments listed in the ET-046 final report). b1. Invite and communicate with RTI vendors to obtain early releases of RTI implementations of the new HLA standard. b2. Test and evaluate early releases of new HLA with national reference applications through experimentations. b3. Test and evaluate early releases of new HLA services with the NATO HLA certification tool (IVCT). c1. Maintain and evolve the NETN FAFD and FOM based on NATO and National feedback and proposals for improvements. c2. Propose process for long-term maintenance and development of STANREC-4800 by NATO/NMSG. d1. Collect national feedback of using the NATO HLA Certification Service (IOC). d2. Provide advices to NATO HLA Certification Actors. d3. Contribute to the NATO HLA Certification Repository (new Capability Badges, new Abstract Test Case, new Executable Test Cases…). d4. Improve the process and tools of the NATO HLA Certification Service (FOC). d5. Evaluate NATO HLA Certification Service and Tools in CAX and NATO Experimentation events such as CWIX. d6. Evaluate hosting and delivery mechanisms for NATO HLA Certification Services and Tools based on MSG-136 (MSaaS) recommendations. e1. Provide recommendations with respect to the implementation of the new HLA standard. e2. Propose, if needed, updates to the NATO reference documents with respect to HLA (STANAG-4603, STANREC-4800 and AMSP-01).

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