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RPA Simulated Operational Communications and Coordination Integration for Aircrew Learning (SOCIAL)


TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Electronics, Human Systems

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this effort is to research, develop and implement prototype capabilities to simulate the communication and coordination of an operational Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance environment for the purpose of providing: (a) Realistic RPA crew mission task saturation; (b) enhanced integration and coordination across an operational testbed environment; (c) a system to prototype, integrate and evaluate intelligent agents and synthetic teammates from both government and commercial sources at various levels of fidelity.

DESCRIPTION: In August 2010 operational Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) crews visited AFRL Mesa to attend a training effectiveness workshop. During the workshop operators were asked for ideas to improve training. The consistent answer was to provide a capability for the RPA operators to interact and coordinate with other members of the ISR community (e.g. Mission Intelligence Coordinators) as they do in real world operations. Again in September 2010 during a follow up meeting with additional RPA crews, the same question was posed and the same answer was given. A system is needed that will create realistic task saturation in a simulated environment for ISR communication and coordination for improved training effectiveness for RPA operations and other command and control assets. This system should employ synthetic and intelligent agent technology to provide operationally realistic communication and coordination in the midst of a scenario but also have the capability to monitor individual performance and adapt the level of saturation to provide the appropriate level based on individual operator capabilities, essentially adaptive training for personalized learning. Additionally, the system should be designed to utilize existing operational community text based communication mediums (e.g. mIRC chat) to communicate. The modeled entities should be constructed synthetically and formatted so that both government and COTS systems may be used in parallel. The level of fidelity can interchangeably range from basic scripting to advanced intelligent architecture. The system should be capable of supporting multiple simulators for command and control training within an operational testbed.

PHASE I: Will research the operational needs, and result in the development of the initial underlying software architecture for this system and demonstrate its capabilities in a proof of concept to show functionality of each component of the total system.

PHASE II: Will fully develop the prototype software technology and underlying architecture and demonstrate the capability to provide task saturation and adapt the levels of saturation in an operational testbed in three different scenarios.


Military Application: The military is increasingly relying more and more on chat communication for C2 operations. The development of this system would provide a capability that would apply to several domains and provide a new capability to improve operator ability to handle task saturation through personalized and adaptive training.

Commercial Application: This capability provides an adaptive training technology for task saturation for chat based communications in civilian contexts.

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