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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Rotorcraft Report: Simulation on Show at I/ITSEC 2009

By James Careless

Training | Simulators

Simulation on display on the floor at I/ITSEC.
The cutting-edge of simulation technology will be showcased from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3, 2009 during the annual Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC). Booked for the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., I/ITSEC is a showcase for military simulation technology, bringing together the U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Coast Guard with industry and academia. “If you are interested in modeling and simulation technology, this is the only place in the world to be,” says I/ITSEC Communications Director John Williams.

Among the highlights planned for I/ITSEC are the Congressional Modeling & Simulation Caucus; a keynote speech with Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, the Army’s vice-chief of staff; and the Warfighters’ Corner. This last event features military personnel who have returned from Iraq, Afghanistan and other theaters, talking candidly about training experiences. “They are not told what to say beforehand,” says Williams. “Warfighters’ Corner is a place to hear what’s actually going on in training, from people who have been there.”

I/ITSEC has a number of special presentations planned, including panels on training the next-generation force, irregular warfare, generational learning and medical simulation. The show floor will include exhibitors from small start-ups to major companies such as Boeing, EADS, Frasca Intl, Lockheed Martin and Rockwell Collins. Delegates are coming from across the globe—from Afghanistan to Yemen. For those seeking in-depth knowledge, I/ITSEC has an extensive lineup of tutorials planned, covering subjects such as modeling and simulation 101, game artificial intelligence solutions, mathematical and heuristic models of combat, determining return on investment, and creating realistic behaviors for immersive simulations. “I/ITSEC will also be encouraging students to become engineers and scientists, by bring them on guided tours of the show floor,” Williams says.

“Typically, students are amazed by that they see, and then they ask, ‘How can I get into this?’ Given the current shortage of trained new entrants to the simulation sector, I/ITSEC is a great opportunity to inspire students to choose this career path.” Overall, the conference will cover modeling and simulation in all its many varieties. According to Williams, “This year’s I/ITSEC should be the best yet. The biggest, the most substantive, and the most important for this dynamic industry.” The National Training and Simulation Association (NTSA) is staging the convention.

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