The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) announced that Wright State Research Institute (WSRI) has been chosen to lead a public-private collaborative effort that includes faculty at Wright State University, Aptima, Inc., and the Continuous Learning Branch in the 711th Human Performance Wing, on a project to develop a next-generation live, virtual and constructive (LVC) training system.
The project, entitled Mission Directed Learning Environment (MiDLE), is aimed at addressing gaps in training with autonomous unmanned system agents and making training more adaptive and personalized.
Since 2010, WSRI has worked with AFRL and the State of Ohio to build an LVC training capability in Ohio specifically targeted at meeting the United States Air Force needs to improve training for the warfighter and first responders.
In 2014, the USAF strategy titled America’s Air Force: A Call to the Future said, “One of the more promising paths to agility in operational training and readiness is in the area of live, virtual and constructive training.”
LVC training enables multi-domain operations for training against existing and future threats. This two-year effort will further utilize and enhance WSRI’s LVC Infrastructure.
Wink Bennett, technical advisor with the Warfighter Readiness Division of 711 Human Performance Wing, said, “LVC technologies and operations being developed at the Warfighter Readiness Division are major components of the USAF’s larger effort to appropriately blend and evaluate the real time, secure interoperability between live aircraft and warfighter-in-the-loop simulators on the ground (virtual) and computer-generated (constructive) entities and data.”
“Using a concept developed in AFRL called Mission Essential Competencies or MECs, which defines the key knowledge areas, skills and developmental experiences to focus on in training, aircrew can use data collected from live and virtual missions to demonstrate quantitative mission performance. Further, we can warehouse the data for routine tracking of proficiency and readiness across time,” Bennett said.
The MiDLE effort will enable AFRL to test some of these new technology concepts.
“We are excited and proud to have been chosen to partner with the AFRL team on this effort,” said Dennis Andersh, WSRI’s executive director. “Thanks to the forward thinking and investment of the State of Ohio, we have had an incredibility opportunity for Wright State faculty and our researchers at WSRI to partner with the experts at AFRL on this innovative approach to training.”
The new project was created for warfighters who work with autonomous technologies and are responsible for making mission decisions in a mixed human-machine teaming (HMT) environment.
“With this collaborative, we are well on our way to understanding how to help humans perform at their best in human-machine teams and improve the overall training experience in a performance-based, cost-effective way,” Andersh said.
“With LVC training systems we can remove the typical limitations of one-size-fits-all training and ensure our warfighters and first responders are able to focus on developing and mastering the essential skills needed to carry out their missions,” said Todd Norell, director of WSRI’s research and development division. “With the MiDLE project, we are creating these live, virtual and constructive scenarios that simulate the mission demands the warfighters encounter, along with measuring progress and performance. As a result, we can better tailor and personalize training, which can save lives and deliver the greatest return on our nation’s training investment.”
Wright State University offers an abundance of research opportunities at all academic levels. The university’s research covers a broad spectrum of activity, from fundamental investigations into the physical, biological and neurological sciences to translational research that directly impacts the quality of life in the Dayton region and beyond.
“This project will enable us to create adaptive synthetic mentors for improved training through model-based personalized LVC training environment,” said Subhashini Ganapathy, director of the Interactions and Modeling Lab in the Department of Biomedical, Industrial and Human Factors Engineering at Wright State University.
The Air Force Research Laboratory is a global technical enterprise, boasting some of the best and brightest leaders in the world. Its mission is leading the discovery, development and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space and cyberspace force.