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Multi-schema and multi-server advances for C2-simulation interoperation in MSG-085

: Pullen, J.M.; Corner, D.; Wittman, R.; Brook, A.; Gustavsson, P.; Schade, U.; Remmersmann, T.

NATO, Science and Technology Organization:
M&S Support to Transitioning Forces and Emerged/Emerging Disruptive M&S Technologies. Soutien de la M&S aux forces en transition et technologies de rupture apparues / émergentes : Papers presented at the STO Modelling and Simulation Group Conference held in Sydney, Australia on 17 and 18 October 2013
Tallinn: NATO, 2013 (STO Meeting Proceedings MP-MSG-111)
ISBN: 978-92-837-0199-6
Paper 4
Conference "M&S Support to Transitioning Forces and Emerged/Emerging Disruptive Technologies" <2013, Sydney>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer FKIE

The conference theme, M&S Support to Transitioning Forces, speaks to the need to grow better capabilities for the future while sustaining the lessons learned from past deployments. One such better capability now growing under the auspices of the NMSG is MSG-085 "Standardization for C2-Simulation Interoperation" which is leading the way to new capability where coalition partners can simply “plug in” their command and control (C2) and simulation systems on a common network and thereby exchange the information needed for simulation-based training, mission rehearsal, and course of action analysis. Using such a capability, every group would “train as you fight,” using their own national C2 system and would be represented by their own simulation.
This paper reports on significant steps forward in C2-simulation interoperation that have been developed and implemented by the authors in support of MSG-085: a coalition of simulation, C2, and web-enabled infrastructure systems that are capable of interoperating over a variety of syntactically different schemata, to the extent they are semantically compatible. Further, the system provides support for distributed, interoperating servers. This system enables interoperation among coalition partners who may be working with simulation and C2 systems developed with different schemata generations or versions. It also supports geographic and organizational scalability by enabling support from distributed servers.
The key to multi-schema operations lies in the ability to parse every BML document (including C-BML, MSDL, and related schemata) and map it into a common data model. Doing this in a usable way requires a server that is capable of parsing XML documents and republishing them at high rates (at least one hundred per second) to service both C2 and simulation clients. The existing open source Scripted BML (SBML) Server has the needed translating and C-BML/MSDL capabilities, but not the required performance. Therefore the SBML server has been re-implemented using Saab’s WISE infrastructure, which not only provides high performance but also features a graphical editor that enables configuring a new schema even more rapidly than the previous scripting approach. This design has been extended and refined, working with client systems developed by other authors of this paper. The process includes appropriate simulation and C2 system initialization and information-based interactions to support necessary user and C2-simulation interactions.
The key to multi-server operations is a server-to-server protocol, used with a schema that is common to both servers. Such a protocol has been implemented between the existing Fraunhofer-FKIE server and the new WISE-SBML server. The approach could be generalized, so long as each pair of servers implements some schema that supports the required semantics.
The paper concludes with a summary of new achievements in C2-simulation interoperability conceived and implemented by the authors in support of MSG-085, and a projection of future developments that can reach the ultimate goal of "plug and play" C2-simulation interoperability among coalition partners.