The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is continually conducting research into new technologies for future aerospace command and control. The Virtual Testbed for Advanced Command and Control (VTAC), an AFRL/IFSD effort under development, provides a realistic context for developing, demonstrating, and assessing information technologies for command and control. VTAC incorporates collaborative technologies with modeling and simulation to drive and evaluate proposed command and control systems. The most recent phase of VTAC development focuses upon applying the AFRL Joint Battlespace Infosphere (JBI) to distribute information efficiently throughout the VTAC. To this end, efforts are under way to integrate JBI with two key components of the VTAC: the AFRL Collaborative Enterprise Environment (CEE) and the High Level Architecture (HLA). CEE is the collaborative framework for VTAC, while HLA provides VTAC a capability for distributed simulation. These integration efforts promise new and interesting information and decision flows within the VTAC. Areas under investigation include data representation methodologies, intelligent agents, and user interfaces. The integration of JBI, CEE, and HLA promises to enhance VTAC capabilities in support of key initiatives such as Agile Research and Development/Science and Technology, Predictive Battlespace Awareness, and Effects-Based Operations.
The Air Force is conducting research in new technologies for next-generation Aerospace Operations Centers (AOCs). The Virtual Testbed Aerospace Operations Center (VT-AOC) will support advanced research in information technologies that operate in or are closely tied to AOCs. The VT-AOC will provide a context for developing, demonstrating, and testing new processes and tools in a realistic environment. To generate the environment, the VT-AOC will incorporate multiple mixed-resolution simulations that are capable of driving existing and future AOC command and control (C2) systems. The VT-AOC will provide the capability to capture existing or proposed C2 processes and then evaluate them operating in conjunction with new technologies. The VT-AOC will also be capable of connecting with other facilities to support increasingly more complex experiments and demonstrations. Together, these capabilities support key initiatives such as Agile Research and Development/Science and Technology (R&D/S&T), Predictive Battlespace Awareness, and Effects-Based Operations.