Graphical CONOPS Prototype to Demonstrate Emerging Methods, Processes, and Tools at ARDEC
Systems Engineering and Systems Management Transformation
This research is a continuation of research initiated in August 2011. The goal of the
research was to continue the investigation of graphical 3D gaming environments in the
construction of a shared mental model during concept development. A result of the
research is an artifact that is a “proof of concept” prototype, the CONOPS Navigator.
The Navigator is intended to provide a 3D virtual guide through the development of a
CONOPS, and also to integrate various tools and applications currently in use. This
integration is a widely-sought capability, one which will enable current CONOPS
developers and users the flexibility to import and export analysis parameters and results
to and from various familiar and well-used tools. Legacy systems are a fact of life in
operational concerns; this prototype is intended to demonstrate interconnectivity on a
limited scale between specific simulation and mathematical modeling software
packages, via a main operational environment. This environment was built using a
game development environment.
This task was always envisioned as part of a larger CONOPS research agenda. As
research progressed, the potential synergies from merging RT 31 with RT 23, and then
combining development architecture and strategies with RT 30, became apparent.
Some already-developed external interfaces were seen as adjuncts to the activities
performed in RT 30 and these interfaces would certainly be useful in the future. By far,
the greater synergies in the development effort were in architecture and operational
issues – such issues are transparent to the user but vital to successful delivery. Further
exploration led to an integrated data-set and application.
The research includes minor updates to our approaches to implementing, managing,
and addressing data impedance challenges between applications including Excel,
@Risk, and MATLAB, but the research herein focuses mainly on the development of a
use-case scenario-building tool, one capable of interfacing with already-existing battle
simulation software. The sponsor has graciously supplied a resource to work with Unity
3D team members, to become conversant in the use of the Unity 3D modeling tool and
environment. An interface with Presagis was investigated in cooperation with the Army
Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) customer, and the
determination is that further training in Presagis operation is required in order to
interface successfully with this tool.
Finally, this report incorporates much of the research from the first phase of the RT30
task. This was done to provide a comprehensive report reflecting the total research
effort for future readers.