The virtual training tool
The virtual training tool operated by partner CTAS is based on pre-existing licensed software for virtual reality. It is a flexible simulation training solution for scenario training, mission rehearsal and more. The purpose of a virtual training simulator in this context is to be able to provide a fully controllable, immersive virtual training environment that allows trainees to experience and interact with identical training situations, tuned to certain training objectives. In COncORDE the simulator has been configured to provide a virtual environment for the system testing and validation scenarios. Parts of the COncORDE scenarios will be configured in the already developed virtual world in the simulator. The trainees (COncORDE first responders) will then walk around in the virtual world handling the situation. In parallel the trainees will use the COncORDE tools to support their management processes. The game and the COncORDE system are not linked at this point.
There are two advantages for stakeholders to use the virtual training tool – a) Any system testing scenarios can be built into a game and can replace a lot of effort currently spent on costly field exercises. The game gives a better personal visualisation of the situation compared to tabletop. Thus, the development of a new system can be tested via virtual reality scenario delivery and save development costs. b) The same scenarios can then be used for collaborative training.
Current efforts consist in testing if the virtual reality environment can be linked to ESRI map parameters. This would allow direct use of the map functionalities during a game.
The application of a virtual reality tool in COncORDE is outside the scope of the promised results. However, the consortium is pursuing this opportunity, since it would both save resource for system testing, as well as provide a very innovative hybrid product, which is likely to attract high interest.