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SBPro and VBS3

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Has anyone used the two systems together? If so to what sort of success level. We have VBS3 but it does not really meet the needs of the Armoured guys.  Thoughts?

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Yes we have in Denmark.

We have been connecting: VBS3, SB and JCATS through DIS.

It has only been done for test and proof of concept.

We have done it for some years now, with various results.


The first times we had some trouble with the Calytrix gateway (and SB) that connects SB to the DIS cloud.

But a lot of those issues has been taken care of during the last year.

In the end it pretty much comes down to doing the hard work of getting all the DIS enumerations right.


I think it can be used to show the infantry guys what kind of support they can expect from tanks, IFV etc.

As well as train the different branches to corporate.


By the way I know that the Austrian army has done some similar things with VBS3 and SB.



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It's "possible" but there are a number of issues.

  1. Correlated Terrain (can be solved with specialized terrain database management software that generates output for multiple simulations). This is particularly important for linking two or more virtual simulations, especially if interaction is expected between players on different simulations. Also, these correlated terrains usually look not quite so visually appealing as they are based on the lowest common denominator
  2. Entity mappings. A rather underappreciated point. Every human character, animal lifeform, every bullet and missile that is either visible on both virtual simulations and/or which gets fired across simulator boundaries needs to be available (and mapped) in all connected systems. There is a standardization effort by the SISO committee but, well, standardization efforts often are struggles between industry players for dominance. If, for example, LockMart says that it "interprets a certain standard differently" than everybody else but their contribution is important to a certain exercise, well... all bets are off what will happen. Or, if simulation A doesn't actually have entity "X" in its own object library - say, a 120mm x 570 DM43A1 -  but units of simulation B are equipped with it, either the exercise fails of you have to fall back to the lowest common denominator (some "other" ammunition that is "similar" in performance and which is available in both systems). Or you attempt a "best match" mapping, which can work with TWO involved systems but certainly not with three or five.
  3. An extension to #2, lifeform mappings, animation/posture mappings. Do you settle with the lowest common denominator (again)? What if certain animations are actually vital to your training objective. If simulation A supports certain gestures at a vehicle checkpoint, and simulation B doesn't HAVE those gestures, what do you do?
  4. Gateway/network protocols. Yes, yes, yes... doesn't HLA solve everything? No, it doesn't. HLA prescribes the way HOW simulations conforming to HLA must exchange information if they want to do it, but that still doesn't mean that an HLA compliant software actually exposes that information over the network. Besides, HLA has a whole host of issues. DIS is often preferred, but, well, has "different" issues.
  5. Who resolves which incidents. Should the shooting simulation decide what happens to the target? Should the simulation with the best damage mode decide? And which IS the best damage model, who can decide that? HLA says, "the shooter decides" which is as good as any other arbitrary decision. And often the finer points of a damage system aren't really that relevant to a certain training goal after all.
  6. Protocol limitations. Take HLA as an example. Simulation A supports dynamic terrain, simulation B does it too, as does simulation C (but it does it differently than A and B). HLA however says that trees and buildings are static objects. So even IF all simulations support the same feature set, there's no guarantee that you can actually transmit the information across simulation boundaries if the network protocol says that such a state change is undefined/illegal. (This is what happens when lawyers in Congress decide about engineering questions.)
  7. AAR. Which simulation supports best the AAR. Is there an option to synchronize playback across simulation domains (largely, No).


So, there aren't complete and completely satisfactory answers to those questions. Some shortcomings may be tolerable in one exercise but not in another. It seems like those of our customers who actually engage in multi-platform simulation exercises pick one "major" simulation and then add a handful of other players in specialist roles to support the main effort. That you actually have multiple simulations on equal footing seems to be the exception rather than the norm.



We recently tested connecting five different simulation systems in Denmark, and overall it was a success. We had SB Pro in it, an infantry simulation, a battlefield management system, a constructive simulation, and one additional software for background calculations. There was also a voice over IP solution that could have been synchronized to the Steel Beasts AAR (but we never got to the point of running an actual AAR, mostly for time restrictions). At the same time it has to be said that it took three or four specialist engineers from multiple continents present on location to make the whole exercise possible (and granted, it was primarily a technical evaluation and not so much an actual "exercise"; the soldiers supported us in the evaluation rather than us supporting the soldiers exercising). I think it will still take considerable effort to create a multi-simulation training package that can be started by people with little technical background.

Armies could accelerate the process, I guess, if they would actually finance such integration efforts rather than leaving it to industry players in shifting alliances who are sometimes competitors, and then cooperating partners on other occasions.


Above all I think that NATO should coordinate an attitude change among members that puts more pressure on certain industry players to actually conform to important standards (other than HLA, which is neither very practical (nor very important, because it isn't practical)), like SISO entity, lifeform, and posture mappings. Right now everything is left to industry and academia, so it's not a big surprise that actual progress is slow.

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1 hour ago, CharlieB said:

Has anyone used the two systems together? If so to what sort of success level. We have VBS3 but it does not really meet the needs of the Armoured guys.  Thoughts?


Yes we have too.


Similar issues:


1. DIS / HLA Gateway / back box.


2. Terrain correlation (do the VBS players "see" the same things as the SB players).


3. Entity correlation (software IDs for the given entities need to match up) - does VBS call an Infantryman Object 5 while SB calls an M1 Object 5?


4. Damage models - Do you use SB to resolve VBS entities (say MILAN) firing at vehicles?


5. Sync issues (mainly when Infantry dismount from vehicles).



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We have been using VBS for the last 6 or 8 years.

Mainly connected to JCATS, to give the UAV guys some crispy pictures.

And lately (2 years) to train 1. Arty in CFF and C2 (training their JFC and JFCC).

But your are right it is a good kept secret :D..... 

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I mean not even those fockers that i know from BI sim knew that :P but yeah vbs is a very good tool for that, like SB is a great tank training tool.. used it my self on the 9035

Edited by DK-DDAM

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apples vs oranges comparison. Neither is exactly the same, although visuals are undoubtedly are better in VBS.


Combined arms  But  more focused on Infantry ; VBS


Combined arms  with a stonger focus  on Armored fighting vehicles simulation and tactics   ( with good simulation of Fire control and interiors)  ; Steel Beasts.




Edited by Kev2go

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