Navy scientists have built a software tool for managing complex training scenarios. Known as the Scenario Planning and Effects Control System (SPECS), the software enables instructors to provide detailed and repeatable immersive training scenarios by defining combinations of cause and effect, time, and manual trigger actions between various types of sensor and environmental stimuli for increased training effectiveness, trainee immersion, and reduced instructor workload.
The system has a robust plug-in capability to add various battlefield and special effects such as smoke and smell generation equipment through common protocols and can be integrated with after-action review systems to support event-based remediation.
Of particular value to the training experience, the system’s audio distribution engine is capable of simultaneous streaming of sound effects to any user-defined speaker location or time synchronized group of speaker locations within the training environment utilizing real-time mixing of source files. SPECS scalability adapts to law enforcement training facilities consisting of one or two rooms to military tactical training areas that spread across miles.
Since 2013, more than 100,000 law enforcement personnel and tens of thousands of warfighters have participated in this immersive training. SPECS is a component of the U.S. Army Live Training Transformation architecture.
While this technology has tremendous benefit to military and law enforcement training, extended applications may include first responder training. It may also be used to add a dynamic aspect to entertainment experiences such as haunted houses and exhibit tours.
- The system's audio distribution engine is capable of simultaneous streaming of sound effects to any user defined speaker location or time synchronized group of speaker locations within the training environment utilizing real-time mixing of source files
- The RaidFX special effects device and training stimuli control architecture is fully extensible and capable of integrating numerous devices and training aids based on common control and communication standards
- The client graphical user interface (GUI) is designed around the concept of the instructor as the operator, and provides for the authoring and control of scenarios within the distributed system architecture
- The architecture utilizes a combination of government and commercial-off-the-shelf components providing for a high degree of flexibility and sustainability
- Data integration with commercially available digital video management and debriefing systems enables event-based navigation and remediation support during after-action-review
- SPECS is installed within a number of U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps training facilities, at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, and at the Northeast Counter-drug Training Center
- Software code available for license
- Extensive user manual, hardware compliance list, and supporting documentation available
- Potential for collaboration with Navy scientists and engineers