Before you shoot - are your lasers interoperable?
28 Apr 2020
Technologies and Architectures
The U.S. military increasingly uses virtual environment training simulators which are demonstrating to be an effective complement, but not a replacement for Soldiers training in “live” physical environments using real vehicles and weapons. To ensure Soldiers' safety when training with real weapons, the Army has used an advanced version of “laser tag”, which is currently referred to as the Instrumentable Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (I-MILES). Several U.S. coalition partners have adopted MILES-like systems from various companies to conduct live training of their own forces. Unfortunately, these MILES-like systems are not always interoperable which limits our ability to train with allies. When allied countries cannot effectively train together, it becomes a significant limiting factor for planning real-world joint operations. To help address these interoperability issues, the US Army's Program Manager for Training Devices (PM TRADE) tasked MITRE to conduct the Multi-national Live Training Interoperability Study (MLTIS). As part of this effort, we are partnering with the NATO Modeling and Simulations Group (NMSG) Urban Combat Advanced Training Technologies (UCATT) team to develop a common picture of training systems interoperability. A significant early outcome of this partnership is a methodology for consistently and objectively assessing the level of interoperability achieved at an exercise event using multiple MILES-like systems. This approach, referred to as the Interoperability Readiness Assessment Methodology (IRAM), leverages the previously established Levels of Conceptual Interoperability Model (LCIM) and applies that model to the live training systems domain. This paper will provide an overview of the IRAM and demonstrate how it provides a defined and objective approach to identify interoperability issues in live training systems. The U.S. with our MLTIS coalition partners is currently developing the IRAM as an essential foundational element in promoting live training between multi-national allied forces.