From the Oscars to operations

Guiseppe Castegnetti

Senior Applied Scientist

Building the modern rehearsal rooms for battle-winning readiness.

Any actor on the Oscars stage this past weekend will tell you about the necessity of rehearsal.

As a key enhancer of readiness, rehearsal builds confidence, clarity, and accuracy. In the movies, just as for our militaries, the impacts of rehearsal and training are boundless. The paradigmatic shift in our current era towards synthetic training ushers in a new age of rehearsal: one that delivers unparalleled environments for targeted skill development, and accelerated learning outside of wartime environments.

At Skyral, we’ve been developing a range of advanced models for simulating civilian populations for close to a decade, using our roots in the gaming industry to deliver synthetic environments for military training. Now, we’ve joined forces with Dstl to assist the British Army in transforming its training systems and delivering dynamic virtual environments that are more immersive and effective than ever before.

The partnership between Skyral and Dstl will develop and use models that allow personnel to create synthetic populations and simulate their dynamics in virtual environments. These models will help personnel learn to fight in ways that are more credible, meaningful, and representative of the human terrain in an operational theatre.

By building on Skyral‘s successful track record of developing large-scale, immersive training solutions featuring hundreds of thousands of non-player characters that can be created in a matter of weeks, this work will  supplement existing computer-generated forces applications, such as the current Defence Virtual Simulation (DVS2) solution. The benefits are enormous, and extend the pattern-of-life capabilities to these models, as well as add credible civilian reactions to events in such applications.

Why does this matter when it comes to training? Because efficiency is key.

We’ve removed the need for these reactions to be scripted in advance of the training event or manually triggered by instructors. Not only will these enhancements better prepare trainees for real-world events, it will allow for increased automation in the creation of training scenarios and significantly speed up deployment.

MOD Crown Copyright 2024

This phase of work, underpinned by Skyral’s world-class expertise in behavioural science and simulation engineering, will also draw on the exceptional knowledge and experience of the MOD and other subject matter experts.

But as any performer worth their stock will tell you, you’re only as good as your script, director, and cast when it comes to turning the rehearsal into the real deal. No doubt, currently, synthetic training does not fully capture the complexity of social systems—such as the behaviours of civilians, groups, or populations—limiting its effectiveness in preparing soldiers for real-world missions.

And that’s why investing in synthetic environment technologies is so vital. By harnessing the capabilities of Skyral’s Social Modelling Framework, we are actively exploring ways to enhance the UK Ministry of Defence‘s social simulation capability, enabling the creation of more complex and credible training scenarios.

MOD Crown Copyright 2024

Together, Skyral and Dstl are aiming to build a system that will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the British Army‘s training methods.

If we nail the rehearsal, we win in the theatre. Skyral’s synthetic environments allow the story to be played over many times, far away from the realities of real life.  We believe that using our technology and learning from working with partners such as Dstl to battle uncertainty through realistic training is what having an edge over our adversaries looks like.

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