US Air Force Looking to Bring Connectivity to Simulation Programs

The United States Air Force is looking to make all of its simulation systems work together. One way they think this could work is to boost connectivity between systems and training platforms, National Defense Magazine reported.

The US Air Force has developed several training simulation systems. Each of these systems has a specific purpose with a specific program. Kevin McFarland of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center told the outlet that because all the systems are proprietary, there is no way for them to be interconnected.

To address the problem, the service has proposed The Common Simulation Training Environment or CSTE. The program will create a virtual environment that links all of the service’s training and simulation systems.

The CSTE Initiative

“When we’re thinking about how we do this, we definitely don’t want to do it like it’s been done before,” McFarland said during the Training and Simulation Industry Symposium in June.

He further explained that they want the CSTE program to run on a central operating system that receives continual upgrades, much like a smartphone receives regular software updates.

“The day I trade in my iPhone, it’s more capable than the day I bought it … because we’ve had software updates,” he said. “How do we develop the ecosystem that we need to do this for training systems?”

Virtual reality systems have been an air force training tool for a while, resulting in significant improvements for trainees who have practiced with VR simulations. 

In a report earlier this year, Maj. Gen. Craig Wills echoed the observation, saying that students who graduate from virtual reality training programs do better, “for some reason.”

However, Wills also admitted that the move to replacing real-life simulations with virtual reality systems is still somewhat controversial, with some pilots not liking the new technology.

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