The international military simulation and training community has determined the year's best of the best.
The MS&T Simulation & Training Awards program returned in 2022 with a record 64 nominations from organizations around the globe competing for top honors in eight categories. A very strong competitive field generated more than 8,000 online votes to help determine the winners.
The nominees’ programs and products highlighted much more than innovation occurring across the military S&T sector. The organizations are focused on helping to compress the acquisition timeline to provide their products and services to training audiences more quickly. At the same time they are expanding the technology envelope to provide cutting-edge new and emerging technologies to meet customers’ requirements. This is truly a period of excellence in this S&T community!
Outstanding A/M/V/XR Application – Medium/Large Business
This award recognizes the innovative use of AR/MR/VR/XR technologies to develop effective and efficient training and performance support interventions. Application of A/M/V/XR spans a broad continuum ranging from education to individual and team training to individual and team performance support.
The Award Winner: Kratos Defense & Security Solutions - Mixed Reality (MR) Mission Readiness Training (MRT) system
The Mixed Reality (MR) Mission Readiness Training (MRT) system developed by Kratos Defense & Security Solutions has nearly doubled combat mission rates for Helicopter Crews at the US Air Force Global Strike Command. Operational since October 2020, MRT is a complete turnkey solution that enables aircrew students to train in an actual aircraft equipped with simulated weapons [Kratos’ UH-1 Multi-Position Aircrew Virtual Environment Trainer (MP-AVET)] with other training audiences.
Finalist: Mass Virtual - Virtual Hangar
Mass Virtual’s Virtual Hangar, built on the MassXR platform, is a proven US Air Force extended reality (XR) enterprise training solution fielded at 52 installations across the globe. Built with COTS development tools, Virtual Hanger is a cloud-based, customizable, rapidly deployable, and sustainable application used to train airmen in a variety of military occupational specialties, including maintainers, aviators, first responders, and logisticians. It significantly reduces aircraft downtime for training and classroom training, and increases student retention.
Finalist: SimCentric Technologies - SAF-TAC Suite of Products
The SAF-TAC Suite of products is transforming the way virtual training is conducted in the international military simulation domain. Designed as the world’s first “Virtual Reality First” military training synthetic environment. SAF-TAC is designed to harness the full capability afforded by VR and MR in military training. SAF-TAC is built using the state-of-the-art Unreal Engine.
Outstanding A/M/V/XR Application – Small Business
This award recognizes the innovative use of A/M/V/XR technologies to develop effective and efficient training and performance support interventions.
The Award Winner: VRAI - ReACT platform - armor crew VR simulation solution
Kongsberg’s Protector RS4 is a Remote Weapon System with more than 20,000 units in use globally. One Kongsberg RWS customer, the Irish Defence Forces, challenged them to transform how they deliver training. This transformation needed to focus on removing bottlenecks with key resources such as armor platforms, weapons systems and instructors. VRAI delivered a full-service, armor crew virtual reality simulation solution based on the company’s ReACT platform. Using ReACT, the entire simulator was created in about four months. The initial deployment of the product is VR/MR.
VRAI's ReACT platform, an armor crew VR simulation solution. Image credit: VRAI.
Finalist: Dynepic - MOTAR (Member, Operations, Training, Analytics, Reports)
Dynepic’s commercial DX platform, white-labeled for the US Air Force as MOTAR (Member Operations Training Analysis Reports) under SBIR Phase III, powers an open ecosystem to meet time-critical Multi-Capable Airman training requirements and deliver innovative XR training technologies at “the speed of need.” MOTAR is known as the “Platform of Platforms.” It facilitates a common training ecosystem and can host or link to other platforms via robust APIs and SDKs. Dynepic hosts companies like HTX Labs, Eon Reality, BUNDLAR, and many other industry-leading XR apps in a vendor-agnostic ecosystem.
Finalist: Eduworks Corporation - Observational Motivation and Engagement Generalized Appliance (OMEGA)
OMEGA is a novel approach that enhances the value of A/M/V/XR training by automatically generating engagement metrics. Student engagement is a key factor in learning outcomes but is difficult to directly observe and measure in many training settings. Training using XR is gaining broad adoption across DoD, including the US Air Force’s new approach to Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training (Pilot Training Transformation (PTT)). Eduworks partnered with USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies to develop OMEGA.
Outstanding Innovative Product – Medium/Large Business
This award recognizes innovative products that provide enhanced value to the military client’s education, training or human performance domains. The category includes, but is not limited to products such as:
- Instructional media,
- Education and training devices or components thereof,
- Content development tools,
- Analysis and evaluation tools and methods,
- Performance support.
The Award Winner: Epic Games - Unreal Engine 5
Unreal Engine 5 (UE5) is the most recent version of Epic Games’ game engine, released in early 2022. This free development platform enables developers and creators globally to realize next-generation real-time 3D content and experiences with greater freedom, fidelity, and flexibility. As the development platform used in the creation of 53% of currently announced next-gen games, Unreal has also proven to be successful for simulation and training applications, as it offers the ability to quickly incorporate real-world scenarios into actionable training environments in days. As the only major game-engine that offers freely accessible source-code, organizations can develop simulated worlds with ease. Unreal Engine 5 is bringing an unprecedented level of innovation by enabling users to reconcile data accuracy, photorealism and real-time applications.
Unreal Engine 5 is the most recent version of Epic Games' game engine, and was released in early 2022. Image credit: Epic Games.
Finalist: Booz Allen Hamilton - Tyndall Digital Twin Project
The Tyndall Digital Twin is a 1:1 virtual replica of Tyndall Air Force Base (AFB), its infrastructure, landscape, systems, and processes. The Tyndall Digital Twin is
connected and twinned to the real world through internet of things sensor feeds, authoritative data sources, and live building information models. The Digital Twin is a massive, interconnected, system-of-systems covering 6.63 sq mi along 10.23 miles of coastline, with over 6.3M sq ft of facilities. Unity game engine and Unity Reflect enabled the Tyndall Digital Twin to seamlessly import complex engineering models and make them easily explorable in augmented and virtual reality.
Finalist: CAE - VISTA (Virtual ISR Training Application)
CAE VISTA (Virtual ISR Training Application) is a scalable solution that enables C4ISR professionals and other command-and-control operators to conduct targeted training, mission rehearsal, and short-notice assessment of proposed operational plans. The entire Task/Collect/Process/ Exploit/Disseminate and Command, Control, Communications, Computers (C4) ISR training audience can create their own scenarios, train to their specific individual or team training objectives, connect with other virtual training systems (air, space, ground, maritime, or cyber), and dramatically increase the flexibility, fidelity, and capacity or their on-the-job and exercise training. Further, CAE VISTA incorporates a faster-than-real-time M&S capability that enables theater-wide mission level M&S from the seafloor to space in a Multiple Level Security environment.
Outstanding Innovative Product – Small Business
This award recognizes innovative products that provide enhanced value to the military client’s education, training or human performance domains.
The Award Winner: Conflict Kinetics Corporation - Synthetic Marksmanship Training Systems (SMTS), aka the Gunfighter Gym
Conflict Kinetics is an industry innovator in human performance optimization – specializing in small arms simulation and featuring in-depth data collection capabilities for the life of the trainee via a Holistic Human Dashboard (HHD). CK’s Synthetic Marksmanship Training Systems (SMTS), aka the Gunfighter Gym (GFG), has proven past performance as a unique solution provider for building individual, team, and larger unit-level capability in lethality, survivability, readiness, decision-making under stress, and situational awareness. CK’s approach to combat marksmanship training replicates the physical, ocular and cognitive challenges of combat. The Marine Corps Operational Test & Evaluation Activity, an echelon 1 testing and evaluation authority, validated the effectiveness of CK’s GFG.
Synthetic Marksmanship Training Systems (SMTS), aka the Gunfighter Gym. Image credit: Conflict Kinetics Corporation.
Finalist: Cervus - XCALIBR
XCALIBR’s innovative data capture, analysis and feedback system unlocks significant performance improvements by seamlessly connecting any/all firearms training (dry drills; blank firing; Airsoft; Simunition; static ranges; live firing tactical training, etc.) into a single measurable performance continuum. This “evolve to open” approach extends in-service capabilities, integrates novel systems, and exploits the untapped data they generate. It is a minimally invasive system that, for low physical burden (a mobile phone - 3 days battery life, wearables, small weapons sensor and exiting targetry - >400g [.8lb]), provides warfighters and trainers with real-time feedback on their live firing performance. The system is in development with the UK’s Army and Royal Marines. It was being assessed by the USMC in October 2022 and is entered into US Army Expeditionary Warfare Experiment 23.
Finalist: ZedaSoft - MiLToC role player software
The US Air Force Academy opened its Multi-Doman Laboratory (MDL) in September 2021 with the mission to provide an immersive and scalable learning environment to furnish future Air and Space Force leaders with a unique and lasting experience in the fundamentals of contemporary warfare and the employment of multi-domain effects in a dynamic joint landscape. As part of the MDL requirements, USAFA challenged ZedaSoft to improve and customize the company’s MiLToC role player software product to provide its cadets with a dynamic assignment capability for air and ground assets. With the addition of the new “Performance on Demand” feature, the performance of the MiLToC entity is more realistically based on parametric data queried from the customer’s database at the time of transfer.
Outstanding Serious Game for Learning – Medium/Large Business
This award recognizes the innovative use of serious gaming technologies to develop effective and efficient education and training and performance support interventions.
The Award Winner: Hadean
Hadean has developed a ground-up, patented, distributed computing platform that enables scalability, security and interoperability, driving the metaverse and digital immersive experiences for enterprise, commercial, gaming and defense. Hadean has worked with numerous public and private sector organizations, ranging from BAE Systems to CAE to the UK MoD to launch next-gen groundbreaking solutions to these industries. Hadean’s distributed computing platform provides the foundation to single synthetic environment (SSE) technology for defense customers and industry system integrators. Additionally, the platform’s true digital-twin ‘pattern of life’ (i.e., county/city level simulation) simulations allow multi-domain defense functions (i.e., air, land, maritime, space and cyber) to deliver a coherent gaming-like synthetic training experience of the highest fidelity required to optimize training and force preparation, while optimizing the operational effectiveness.
Focusing on Freedom Square Tallinn, a massing crowd is viewed in 3D. Image credit: Hadean.
Finalist: Cubic Mission & Performance Solutions - Total Learning Platform
Cubic Mission & Performance Solutions’ Total Learning Platform (TLP) utilizes a uniform and scalable common baseline; the extensibility and reusability of digital content and components enable an enterprise-level approach to training. Creating an ability to deliver solutions to the warfighter in a reduced time by “building it once and using many times” is just one strength of the common baseline approach. Having an ability to repurpose digital content not just for Immersive Virtual Training (IVT) and Interactive Multimedia Instruction (IMI) deliveries, but to also repurpose for multiple platforms that share common subsystems is a very powerful byproduct of the common baseline that is being leveraged today, and envisioned in the near future by services around the globe: US Navy, Royal Saudi Naval Forces, US Coast Guard and others.
Outstanding Serious Game for Learning – Small Business
This award recognizes the innovative use of serious gaming technologies to develop effective and efficient education and training and performance support interventions.
The Award Winner: Radius Tech Defence Services Ltd.
Women In Command: Hybrid Threats Rising (WiCHTR) is a first-of-its-kind serious board game that combines military and humanitarian training along with equity, diversity, and inclusion elements. WiCHTR represents a novel approach both to gaming and empowering women. The game introduces the target audience to hybrid warfare (4th Generation warfare) and various decision-making mechanisms of modern warfare. International and national diplomacy dynamics are included in the game where players can maintain a prestige rate, apply sanctions, and cooperate with international organizations. The game uses the 6D gamification and serious gaming technology framework. Importantly, it uses mathematical models and forecasting algorithms to create its own models.
The Women in Command: Hybrid Threat Rising board game. Image credit: Radius Tech Defence Services.
Small Business of the Year
This award recognizes exemplary small businesses in the military S&T domain. Our definition of a small business is “a non-subsidiary, independent firm that employs fewer than 50 employees.” An exemplary small business leverages human capital, innovation and agility to grow and meet client needs, while cultivating a growing technical and social influence in the community.
The Award Winner: HTX Labs
HTX Labs is a Houston-based commercial software company (35 employees), founded in 2017, on a mission to accelerate the future of learning, delivering XR technology and high-fidelity immersive learning tools to elevate the level of proficiency and preparedness of our next-generation workforce. HTX Labs designed and developed EMPACT, an Immersive Learning Platform, to address the challenges of bringing immersive technologies like augmented, virtual, and mixed reality to the US DoD and enterprise customers. HTX Labs’ revenue has consistently grown for the past two years, with year-over-year revenue growth at 164% in 2021, and projected at 80% in 2022 (with significant reinvestment into EMPACT product).
HTX Labs has developed the immersive learning platform EMPACT. Image credit: HTX Labs.
Finalist: Conflict Kinetics Corporation
Founded in 2006 by President, Brian Stanley, Conflict Kinetics is known as the industry innovator in human performance optimization – specializing in small arms simulation and featuring in-depth data collection for the life of the trainee via the Holistic Human Dashboard (HHD). CK holds 5 patents and 3 pending in the methods and processes of optimizing a human being, rooted in decades of professional sports human performance techniques/trade secrets. They have proven past performance as a unique solution provider for building individual, team and larger unit-level capability for DoD and federal agencies.
Finalist: Ryan Aerospace
Prior to a 2018 US Army contract, Ryan Aerospace (Australia) had attended nearly 50 overseas trade shows and was selling just three to five simulators annually. In 2019, they sold around 50 simulators. In 2020, RA sold approximately 100 simulators. In 2021 (and so far into 2022) RA sold around 200 simulators, showing year-on-year growth in the last three years of around 100%. While RA’s main products leverage the benefits of new virtual reality and mixed reality technologies, the company also has products that use more traditional out-the-window visuals such as screens or multi-projector.
Outstanding Woman in Defense Training
The defense S&T community (industry and academia) plays an essential role in supporting military commanders’ development and maintenance of capability and readiness. Within the community there are individuals who have demonstrated outstanding and significant technical, professional and social leadership. This inaugural award recognizes female professionals from around the globe who continue to make their mark on advancing the S&T defense training enterprise.
Award Winner: Dolly Oberoi - Founder and CEO, C² Technologies (C²TI)
Dolly Oberoi’s knowledge of and experience within the simulation and training industry spans more than 32 years. After graduating from Harvard University with her master’s degree, she founded C² Technologies, an international women/minority-owned recognized leader in education, immersive learning (AR/VR/XR, Digital Twin, Metaverse), LVC, MODSIM, aviation training, and digital transformation. As CEO and founder, Oberoi is responsible for the overall management and growth of the company. In addition, her expertise, thought leadership, drive for innovative solutions, integrity, loyalty, and dedication are respected and admired among her customers and colleagues – C²TI serves Fortune 500 companies, as well as public and private sectors globally including aviation, defense, national security, commercial, healthcare, and higher education, while supporting a talented workforce of over 500 team members in more than 44 locations.
Dolly Oberoi, founder and CEO of C² Technologies (C²TI). Image credit: C²TI.
Finalist: Angela Alban - CEO, Principal Investigator, Simetri
Angela Alban has been and is a strong leader in the MS&T industry since starting her business in 2009. Thriving under her leadership, her business has enjoyed consistent organizational growth while substantially increasing revenues. Her company doubled its revenues in 2019 over 2018, grew again by 15% in 2020, by 56% in 2021, and with over 15% projected growth for 2022. Her responsibilities as CEO include being the visionary for her business as well as building and leading the Simetri team. Angela’s sense of commitment to family, her business, and the community set her apart as a leader in the industry – for example, she serves on numerous not-for-profit boards in the S&T community as well as the business community at large.
Finalist: Emily Smits - Co-Founder and CEO, Modest Tree
Since co-founding Modest Tree in Halifax, Canada (2011), Emily Smits has dedicated her career to changing how defense agencies, and the OEMs that serve defense, leverage innovative immersive training and immersive maintenance technologies to support their digital transformation goals. Modest Tree delivers immersive, virtual, and fully integrated digital products and services in response to some of the most complex issues faced by industries worldwide. Emily is a well-respected thought leader in immersive enterprise solutions and has worked with global manufacturers in aerospace, defense, and automotive, unleashing new business models for training, digital twins, and digital in-service support.
Halldale Pioneer Award
The Pioneer Award recognizes an individual, nominated and selected by the Awards panel, for consistent, long-term contributions to the art, science and community of military simulation and training.
The Award Winner: Rep. Randy Forbes (Virginia) Member of US Congress 2001-2017
In 2005, US Representative Randy Forbes (Virginia) founded, chaired, and later co-chaired the Congressional Modeling & Simulation Caucus to advocate for its use in analysis, design, testing, and training. Forbes initially focused on elevating and expanding the knowledge of M&S used in the military among members of Congress and their staffs. During his 12 years of Caucus leadership, the representative from Virginia expanded the congressional body’s focus on M&S – for training and other tasks in the acquisition cycle, and in adjacent high-risk sectors. This congressional body’s positive, enduring impact expanded through the years on Capitol Hill and beyond, benefiting the Pentagon, the US simulation and training industry and other stakeholders.
Pioneer Award winner Randy Forbes. Image credit: US Government.
Finalist: Albert “Skip” Rizzo, Ph.D., Director, Medical Virtual Reality, USC Institute for Creative Technologies
For many years, Psychologist Skip Rizzo (PhD) has conducted research on the design, development and evaluation of virtual reality (VR) systems as tools for clinical assessment, treatment rehabilitation and resilience for military and civilian personnel. Dr. Rizzo uses simulation to help patients cope with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He and his team at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies developed a Virtual Human Mobile Wellness Application that incorporates a Virtual Human support agent in which a student can ask a human character – a virtual therapist or information specialist – what problems they are experiencing. This form of clinical assessment fills a gap when there aren’t enough real people to handle the role. The program is particularly useful for soldiers returning from war and those preparing for possible conflict. Rizzo’s team built a Stress Resilience in Virtual Environments (STRIVES) program in which a soldier goes on a virtual mission where something bad happens. The Rizzo-led Institute has been supported by millions of dollars in research funding by the US Army. Without this support, military simulation would not be where it is today, according to the Institute, adding that the work would have a major impact on civilian health care as well.