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SimNEC : research platform for studying human functioning in NCW


Author: Veen, H.A.H.C. van · Graaf, B. de · Essens, P.
Institution: TNO Defensie en Veiligheid
Source:Virtual media for military applications. Meeting Proceedings RTO, 2006, 6-1 - 6-10
Identifier: 16818
Keywords: Command and control Defence · Operations room · Command & control · Network centric operations · Military


SimNEC is TNOÆs grand scheme for experimentally studying human factors issues related to NEC/NCW. The research platform SimNEC consists of multidisciplinary expert teams, long-term research programmes, and a local network of state-of-the-art simulator modules. SimNEC does not focus on technology, but is purposely designed to study the functioning of humans in future network-centric warfare. This distinguishes SimNEC from typical technology-focused concept demonstration and experimentation approaches. Note, however, that SimNEC is designed with the capability to couple with and involve external parties, simulators, simulation networks, and potentially even life systems. Several individual simulator modules have been created in-house over the past few years as the result of originally separate long-term research programmes, such as ICO, MSC, UMV, and FAC. ICO stands for an Integrated Command environment for the bridge, command centre and engine room of a naval frigate. MSC is a Mission Simulation Centre consisting of four F-16 cockpits (one on the high-end motion platform Desdemona). The UMV is a ground station for Unmanned Military Vehicle operations. FAC is a Forward Air Controller (or dismounted soldier) who communicates with MSC or a helicopter of the air manoeuvre brigade. C-unit is a RNLA command post for land operations within a NATO Response Force. Cannibal Hector is a joint operational centre for the supreme staff during an operation (hector is an acronym for human in command, and cannibal stands for maximally reduced manning). The network of simulator modules allows for the use of sensors and actors from one unit in any other unit. This part is currently under construction. The aim of SimNEC is to facilitate experimental studies in each of the domains concerned, and additionally to provide the platform for joint/combined operations with multiple levels involved. We believe that real insight in the human aspects of NEC/NCW requires complex scenarios and a complex interconnected environment. We will discuss the approach taken and the studies that are under way and planned in the coming years.