SEA and partners showcase the future of modelling and simulation as a service
16 May 2018
SEA has led an industry team which has delivered its findings on the future of modelling and simulation to the UK Ministry of Defence.
The core Architectures, Interoperability and Management of Simulations (AIMS) delivery team of SEA, BAE Systems, QinetiQ and Thales has conducted a wide range of research tasks related to the AIMS themes over the past four years. The delivery team has been supported by a range of external suppliers from the Dstl Synthetic Environment Tower Community of Practice.
The vision statement for the AIMS programme is: “To enable the delivery of a single environment, such that users can create capability from modelling and simulation components and services which are inherently interoperable”.
One of the key outputs from AIMS has been the development of the concept of Modelling and Simulation as a Service (MSaaS).
The MSaaS concept provides a potential strategic approach to deliver secure, agile simulation based capabilities, by making modelling and simulation assets, data and services conveniently accessible. The delivery of future simulation capability using MSaaS provides the opportunity to realise significant benefits, in terms of greater accessibility to simulation, enhanced sharing and reuse of assets, rapid composition and deployment of simulations and efficient use of hardware.
While AIMS has developed the UK concept for MSaaS, it has also contributed to the parallel NATO Modelling and Simulation Group activity to provide a consistent approach to MSaaS across the partner nations.
The AIMS team provided a practical demonstration of MSaaS to key MoD stakeholders at the Shrivenham UK Defence Academy. This highlighted how MSaaS could be employed to support future training and Joint Force exercise activities, demonstrating key elements of the concept including a registry and repository of simulation assets, simulation composition tools and rapid deployment and execution using cloud computing technologies.
The research team has also modified existing parallel capabilities in the Defence Geospatial Services area developed by Envitia, to provide a concept searchable registry of simulation assets.
The MSaaS approach is fully consistent with the future direction of service delivery and key UK MoD initiatives such as Defence as a Platform (DaaP) and provides an opportunity to complement and enhance the services offered by the UK Defence Simulation Centre.
Jon Lloyd, Dstl Technical Partner for AIMS contract, commented: “MSaaS offers Defence the opportunity to maximise both cost and operational effectiveness in the way simulation is delivered across all Defence needs; including Force Preparation, Operational Analysis, Acquisition, and Decision Support.
“As Defence IT infrastructure is modernised in line with the Defence Information strategy, MSaaS helps to ensure Modelling and Simulation capabilities are ready to exploit the benefits of technologies such as Cloud based hardware solutions. The ability to drive down the acquisition cost and development time to ensure simulation systems stay current in their ability to represent current and future operating environments is a key factor in establishing an MSaaS ecosystem that enables end users to access emerging and best of breed M&S capabilities from across the supplier base.
“Furthermore, the MSaaS approach offers opportunity to provide the Defence Simulation Centre (DSC) with an efficient way of managing the range of M&S resources that MoD requires in a way that they can be readily accessed on demand.”