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Aptima to Showcase Technologies at I/ITSEC 2010

Aptima to Showcase Technologies at I/ITSEC 2010

Aptima to Showcase Technologies at I/ITSEC 2010 for Improving Team Training & Collaboration

Demo at Booth #608: Anti-piracy simulation highlights real-time performance measurement and analytics for distributed team exercises

Woburn, MA, November 22, 2010 – How effective coalition forces are in responding to unconventional conflicts and large scale disasters is often defined by the capacity to collaborate. Yet the distinctly human skills of how dispersed teams should communicate and coordinate can be difficult to practice, measure, and improve on without the right feedback to guide learning.

During I/ITSEC 2010, the world’s largest modeling, simulation, and training conference, Aptima, which specializes in human-centered engineering, will demonstrate an anti-piracy and maritime interdiction scenario that showcases several innovative technologies to improve the simulation, assessment, and instructional value of collaborative team training. These include Aptima’s DDD®  [Archived Link No Longer Available] desktop command and control simulator, and its A-Measure® suite of software tools for the real-time measurement, display, and analysis of distributed team performance.

“The goal of linking these technologies together is to capture and capitalize on what is often the missing ingredient in delivering the big return on training – performance measurement,” said Emily Wiese, Product Manager for Aptima’s Performance Measurement Technologies. “Research shows that the right feedback at the right time increases learning by 25% to 50%. These tools are designed for the complex dynamics that underlie team effectiveness.”

Collaboration in Action

Aptima’s DDD ‘Distributed Dynamic Decision-Making’ simulator will run a scenario involving coalition naval forces from the U.S. and China charged with monitoring the coast of Somalia for piracy. When an unknown vessel confronts a merchant ship, the coalition responds, deploying unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and helicopters to investigate, leading to an escalation by the pirates. The geographically distributed trainees, tasked with tracking and engaging the adversaries, will use multiple modes of communication, including VoIP, IM chat, and collaborative white boarding features embedded in the DDD simulator to command their forces and accomplish the mission.

Building Skills through Measurement

The performance of the commanders is tracked and calculated by the PM Engine™, part of Aptima’s A-Measure software that plugs into simulators to extract performance data, including communications, coordination, and collaboration activities. These measures for the distributed trainees are displayed through a Measurement Dashboard™ which shows instructors the real-time performance of the team as the exercise unfolds.

Bringing Together ‘Virtual’ and ‘Live’

Just as important as what simulators track in these training scenarios, is the crucial information that they miss. A-Measure’s SPOTLITE™ is a handheld device for collecting observer-based measures. Originally funded by the AFRL 711 HPW/RHAS for training Air Force F-16 pilots, SPOTLITE is used by instructors to measure live ‘in the moment’ activities, such as trainee decision-making workload, timeliness, and more subjective items that aren’t captured in the simulator data.

“A lot of key information isn’t included in the data stream, and those aspects, such as a trainee’s ability to utilize resources to mitigate situations before they escalate and adhere to rules of engagement, are best assessed through human observation,” said Sylvain Bruni, Human Systems Engineer for Aptima. “SPOTLITE allows the instructor to measure those aspects of the trainee’s performance in real-time, whether it’s their ability to ID and prosecute targets, maintain secure communications, or to deploy UAVs at the right time.”

Delivering Effective Feedback

A-Measure then joins the simulation- and observer-based data together to provide trainees and instructors with customized views of performance and trends over time, better informing after action reviews and next-step training guidance. “These measurement and analysis tools allow comparisons to be made not just from the previous exercise but also across time – from last week, to last month or last year – to detect trends in learning,” added Wiese. “The analysis tools within A-Measure can also help evaluate the context of training exercises, such as how particular weather conditions might affect a team’s performance, how different squads or units are progressing and the skills they need to improve upon, or even the impact of curriculum changes on their learning.”

About the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC)

I/ITSEC 2010 is the world’s largest, training, simulation and education conference. It brings together Armed Services, Industry, Academia and various Government agencies in pursuit of improved training and education programs, identification of common training issues and development of multiservice programs. The Conference takes place in Orlando, Florida from November 29th through December 2nd. For more information, visit IITSEC.org.