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How Open Standards are making Game Engines more accessible for Serious Simulation applications

A use case based on Unreal Engine

The growing popularity of gamification in learning combined with the power of modern gaming technologies is set to shape the next generation of simulation based training. Beyond the very realistic visualization features, today game engines offer many other facilities like advanced physics, artificial intelligence (AI), sound engines among other modules that can ease the development of simulations for training. Game engines developed by a large community of developers could reduce costs and time to market for both new and traditional simulation systems developers alike.

However, there still remains several challenges in exploiting gaming technologies outside the consumer markets, in particular for defense and space modeling and simulation (M&S) applications. Games are generally developed to only work within their own game engine ecosystem. The trend within training and simulation is to connect systems together for co-operative training. While this is possible using a game engine’s multiplayer framework, it would currently require that all systems use the same game engine – an approach that can pose many issues, not least the risk of getting locked into a single vendor and the prospect of throwing away the significant investments already made by the system developers and end users.

NATO and other research groups have already conducted a number of studies over the years to investigate if and how standards and technologies could be developed to promote modular game architectures. NATO Modelling and Simulation Group (NMSG) Exploratory Team (ET) 044 work on Modular Game Architectures being one recent example, which highlighted the need for open standards based approaches to promote maximum exploitation of the technologies. Some in the industry have also developed open standards based technologies to encourage re-use and interoperability of game engines and other simulation technologies.

This paper is structured along the following topics to explore how open standards are applied to make game engines more accessible to the serious simulation developers in defense, space and other domains.

  • Why combine serious simulation and game technology
  • Some established game engines – overview
  • Why use open standards – use cases and opportunities
  • Practical experiences in developing open standards based interoperability tools for the Unreal Engine

Authors: Suranga Wickramasekera, Boris Pothier, Garratt Weblin
Publication: Proceedings of 2021 Virtual SISO SIMposium, SIM-2021-03, Simulation Interoperability Standards Organization, September 2021

Download the full paper (pdf)

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News

Pitch Café Fall 2021

Take the time to catch up on the latest distributed simulation technologies with Pitch.

We will be hosting free webinars on a series of topics related to distributed simulation. See below for more information on upcoming sessions. Webinar presentations and demonstrations will be approximately 30 minutes long followed by Q&A with experts.

Interested?

You can sign up by clicking on the desired session / time slot from the listing below.

DateSessionTime slots.
Click to register
29 SeptMake Gaming and Distributed Simulation Work Together
7 OctNATO NETN – the NATO Federation Object Model for Distributed Synthetic Training
Special edition during the NATO CA2X2 Forum 2021 (need to register to the CA2X2 )
28 OctDeveloping Interoperable Web Browser Based Simulations15:30 CET /
09:30 US EST
4 Nov Cross Domain Security Simulation in Multi Domain Operations 15:30 CET /
09:30 US EST
11 Nov High-Performance Synchronized Video, Audio & Data Capture & Replay
with Matrox & Pitch
15:30 CET /
09:30 US EST
18 NovGet to Know the New Pitch Talk Effects Architecture15:30 CET /
09:30 US EST
2 DecIntroducing Pitch Debrief for After Action Review15:30 CET /
09:30 US EST

Have a topic that you’d like us to cover? Email us with your suggestions on cafe@pitchtechnologies.com

Hope to see you there!


Make Gaming and Distributed Simulation Work Together

Boris Pothier

Game engines offer many powerful tools to build simulation based training solutions for defence, space and other requirements. However, developers need to overcome several interoperability challenges when using game engines for distributed simulation. Several technologies are emerging from the industry to make gaming and distributed simulation work together using open established standards. Pitch Unreal Engine Connector is an exciting new technology that allows developers to connect Unreal Engine to well established distributed simulation architectures like HLA and DIS with unrivalled performance, robustness and ease of use.

This webinar will present Pitch’s experience in developing Pitch Unreal Engine Connector plugin including a discussion on some of the technical challenges and a walkthrough on how to integrate the Unreal Engine based simulation to an HLA federation using the plugin. The webinar is a must attend if you are a Developer, System Architect, or a Project Manager looking to integrate the Unreal Engine to your HLA federation or DIS simulation.


NATO NETN – the NATO Federation Object Model for Distributed Synthetic Training

Björn Löfstrand

Efficient and effective use of Modelling & Simulation (M&S) capabilities requires standards for connecting and integrating M&S components across the training system enterprise. The Allied Modelling and Simulation Publication AMSP-04 is the NATO standard for representing simulation data in Distributed Synthetic Training (DST) environments.

This webinar will provide an overview of the NETN FOM v3.0, included in the latest release of AMSP-04 (Edition B, MAR 2021). We will also demonstrate how Pitch use the NETN FOM to support the Viking 22 exercise. The webinar is a must-attend if you plan to develop your simulation services and components to support NATO standards.


Cross Domain Security Simulation in Multi Domain Operations

Björn Möller
Björn Möller

There is an increasing need to jointly train across different security levels. Common examples are training between facilities with different classification, civil-military exercises and joint/combined multi-domain exercises.

This webinar will walk through some typical challenges and discuss risk, mitigation and required levels of assurance. It will show how these different use cases can be handled by separating different security levels and implementing information release mechanisms. It will show how to tailor Pitch’s CDS technologies for different assurance levels and specific national requirements. Security policies for common HLA based standards like RPR FOM and NATO NETN FOM will be covered. Finally, it will summarize some experiences from implementing this technology for the UK Royal Air Force.


Developing Interoperable Web Browser Based Simulations

Patrick Penot and Björn Löfstrand

The web browser is an everyday tool for most people. It is also a powerful way to deliver simulation-based training. In this Pitch Café we will show how to build interoperable web-based solutions to support RPR FOM, NATO NETN FOM, SpaceFOM and custom FOMs. We will explain how to use a mix of Pitch’s products and commonly used web frameworks. We will also take a closer look on how to develop for two types of scalability: how to support a large training audiences and how to support large scenarios with many entities. Finally, we will demonstrate a real-life, advanced web-based solution for NATO standards.

This Webinar will present the choices of Pitch to create Web Applications for simulation, including standards evolution like HLA4 . We will present a Web Application for simulation developed by Pitch, and it will be supported by a demonstration.


Get to Know the New Pitch Talk Effects Architecture

Glenn Wissing
Glenn Wissing

Communication is critical when it comes to training, involving communication amongst trainees or communication between trainees and instructor. Realistic training requires trainees to work through lapses and impediments to communications caused by unavoidable real world negative factors. For example, learning to communicate by radio requires trained listening through noise and signal disruptions as well as careful speech with those negative factors in mind. Real world radio communications are affected by many factors that degrade radio signals in various ways. These factors can be applied to simulated radio communications to allow realistic, effective, training.

This webinar describes how Pitch Talk can simulate radio communications ranging from clear, “perfect”, unmodified speech to more realistic sounds of real radios in use in a real and noisy world. You will gain an understanding of Pitch Talk’s capabilities regarding signal propagation and how you can integrate custom degradation effects into your solutions.

You will hear exactly how degraded communications can be best for realistic training.


Introducing Pitch Debrief for After Action Review

Nicke Sievert

Numerous simulation based training events stay informal and do not generate constructive feedback or any follow-up report because of inadequate After Action Review (AAR) capabilities, and the workload required to produce holistic AAR outputs. Pitch Debrief is a powerful new AAR tool allowing instructors to capture and review information from screens, cameras, simulation and live data.

This webinar is a first opportunity for distributed simulation developers, systems architects and project managers to discover the Pitch Debrief tool with our Lead Developer, Nicke Sievert. Nicke will provide an overview of the product features, and discuss how Pitch Debrief can be used for:

  • Synchronized recording and playback of all data streams
  • Store and recall sessions to track progress
  • Quickly navigating to and focus on interesting events using a timeline and bookmarks
  • Embedding in your existing simulations using the SDK

2021 Webinars Recap

So far in 2021, Pitch has delivered 7 Pitch Café webinars with participants from over 20 countries. Webinar presentations and demonstrations have been approximately 30 minutes long followed by Q&A with experts.

See below for more information on past sessions.

Spring Series

20 April Pitch pRTI Features You Need to Know

6 May Experiences from the SISO SpaceFOM at the European Space Agency

13 May Pitch Visual OMT Features You Need to Know

18 May Pitch Extender Features You Need to Know

3 June Building a Unified Infrastructure for Distributed Simulation

10 June Simulating Tactical Data Links

15 June Pitch Media Streamer Features You Need to Know

 


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