Bohemia Interactive Simulations
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Bohemia Interactive Simulations, is a global simulation software company, and was spun off of studio Bohemia Interactive Australia (BIA).
- 1 History
- 2 Performance Improvements
- 3 Image Generation
- 4 Benefits of Game-based Simulation
- 5 Government Organizations and Companies using Virtual Battlespace
- 6 Interoperability
- 7 Developed training programs
- 8 External links
- 9 References
Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BISim) began as spinoff studio Bohemia Interactive Australia (BIA), formed by Bohemia Interactive Studio and David Lagettie, where joint development of a special military training simulation program VBS1 or Virtual Battlespace 1 began in December 2001. The Virtual Battlespace software series is widely used as a desktop simulation software for training among western military organizations. The company's customers include the United States Army, the United States Marine Corps, the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence, NATO, the Australian Defence Force, the Canadian Armed Forces, the Swedish Armed Forces and the Brazilian Army. Today, the company has offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Australia.
After thorough testing and field use (in cooperation with and funded by the United States Marine Corps), VBS1 was made available in the fall of 2002 for qualified government clients and military organizations. On May 21, 2004, VBS1 underwent limited public distribution. On August 14, 2004 it was released for North America; distribution was handled by Coalescent Technologies. According to the company, funding through Australian Defence Simulation Office helped add a number of improvements to VBS1 including making it HLA/DIS compliant and improving the after-action review feature in its next iteration, VBS2.
Development on VBS2 began after the Australian Defence Force purchased an enterprise license of VBS1 in 2005. During the development of VBS2, the company worked with Calytrix Technologies to develop the VBS2 HLA/DIS gateway. The company also established a team of developers in the Czech Republic to "support real-world terrain import" and create tools for developers.
In 2008, most of development operations were moved to Prague, Czech Republic under newly formed Bohemia Interactive Simulations. Subsequently, BIA was integrated as Asia-Pacific arm of Bohemia Interactive Simulations and Pete Morrison, previously Lead Developer, was appointed CEO.
In January 2013, The Riverside Company, a New York-based private equity firm, acquired Bohemia Interactive Simulations for an undisclosed amount. The Orlando Sentinel reported that The Riverside Company expected to see "across-the-board growth" in the Bohemia Interactive Simulations.
In April 2013, Bohemia Interactive Simulations acquired Pittsburgh, PA-based TerraSim Inc., described as a "technology leader in commercial products enabling the rapid production of correlated terrain for visual, constructive, and serious game simulation systems". In an interview with Defense News, Co-CEO Pete Morrison said that Bohemia Interactive Simulations' reason for purchasing for the company was to better integrate TerraSim's TerraTools suite of terrain generation tools into VBS. TerraSim's products also are widely used by military simulations for terrain development, including the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, and Lockheed Martin.
In June 2013, the U.S. Army announced that it had awarded its 5-year Games for Training contract as part of a joint effort led by Calytrix Technologies and assisted by partner companies SimCentric Technologies, and Alelo. The company unveiled an early version of VBS3 at the annual exhibition I/ITSEC in December 2013. The company listed a range of new advancements including the game engine's ability to support larger models, massive terrains, and higher fidelity graphics. The company also announced a number of performance improvements, including procedural generation of terrain at run-time.
Bohemia Interactive Simulations released VBS3 v3.0 to the U.S. Army in March 2014. Within a few weeks, thousands of soldiers had downloaded VBS3 from the Army's MilGaming portal. The company also announced performance improvements for fast-air simulation, including real-time object aggregation and sub-pixel rendering. In May 2014, Army Times reported on a special plug-in developed in VBS3 for the U.S. Army that allows soldiers to assign physical training scores and weapons qualifications to their avatars in the simulation.
BIS is developing a new program called the "Synthetic Training Envrionment" alongside the U.S. Army. The goal of the project is to be able to simulate Earth in its entirety to allow soldiers to train in as many realistic scenarios as possible. This software will be a major part of the upcoming VBS4.
In February 2019, BIS was awarded a $1.3 million contract from the British Army to test how soldier training can be augmented by virtual reality.
The company announced a series of performance improvements to its game engine in 2013 and 2014 including technology that enables fast air simulation over large cities, supports massive paged terrain, and allows for the development of high-fidelity, complex and interactive models. In December 2013, the company released a series of video demonstrating capabilities for creating destructible buildings, improved vehicle movement, and procedural snow. In March 2014, the company said it had improved rendering performance by developing "object aggregation" technology that "resulted in far fewer draw calls to the graphics card." Bohemia Interactive Simulations also stated that it had completed a large, interactive model of the Type 45 Destroyer with 300 compartments as well as "functioning doors, lights, davits and guns" for the Royal Navy. In early September 2014, the company's Co-CEO Pete Morrison demonstrated a 2200 x 2200 km terrain of the eastern United States at GameTech 2014 in Orlando.
The company announced in September 2014 that it was developing a game-based image generation product called VBS IG. In 2015, the U.S. Army began fielding VBS3-based image generation technology with the Close Combat Tactical Trainer Program of Record. In 2015, the company began demonstrating a new modular rendering technology VBS Blue, which underpins the company's VBS Blue IG product, a 3D whole-earth, CIGI-compliant image generator. BISim released VBS Blue IG for the first time in April 2018. The company describes VBS Blue IG as a "3D planetary simulation that is cloud-enabled, geo-specific with round-earth procedural rendering and editing. VBS Blue IG is designed for all applicable use cases from land, air and sea, including multichannel IG configurations as well as virtual reality-based training applications."
Benefits of Game-based Simulation
U.S. Army Games for Training chief Marco Conners said in an Army Times article that VBS3 "enables the leader to look at their squad or platoon and see where he can improve their performance capabilities”. Others have touted the ability of game-based training to reduce time and risks in training exercises.
Government Organizations and Companies using Virtual Battlespace
Virtual Battlespace is widely used by western military organizations. According to Bohemia Interactive Simulations, "More than 19 NATO nations and nine partner nations as well as three NATO entities use Virtual Battlespace (VBS) products in their simulation centers."
- Through a multi-partner contract with the U.S. Army, Bohemia Interactive Simulations provides VBS3 for the Army's Games for Training program.
- ARES Security Corporation announced in September 2014 it is using Virtual Battlespace 3 for its product BluTrain.
- NSC uses Virtual Battlespace for a UAV training system used by the UK Army.
- Airbus Defence and Space developed a NATO-accredited forward air controller simulator system for the French Air Force using VBS2.
- Polish manufacturer OBRUM used VBS2 for its SK-1 armored personnel carrier.
- TELDAT used VBS2 to test the interoperability of its Battlefield Management System JASMINE.
- The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory developed a seated dismounted soldier training system for the U.S. Marines.
- Norwegian Defense Research (FFI) used VBS2 to experiment with augmented reality technology.
- LaserShot uses VBS for its small arms training solutions.
- Meggitt's FATS M100 can be integrated with VBS2 and VBS3.
Through its HLA/DIS gateway, Virtual Battlespace can be made interoperable with other hardware and software. Virtual Battlespace is used in conjunction with constructive simulation software such as OneSAF and JCATS.
Developed training programs
- VBS1 (Windows) - November 2006 - 2002, 2004 (worldwide)
- VBS2 (Windows) - April 2007 (worldwide)
- VBS3 (Windows) - July 2014 (worldwide)
The company offers courses covering different aspects of Virtual Battlespace training and simulation, including administration, scripting, importing and rigging models, and terrain generation.
- "The Riverside Company investment". bisimulations.com. http://bisimulations.com/content/mon-01072013-1045/riverside-company-investment. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- Stuart, S (May 11, 2019). "How Simulation Games Prepare the Military for More Than Just Combat". PC Mag. https://www.pcmag.com/news/368276/how-simulation-games-prepare-the-military-for-more-than-just.
- "Private equity firm acquires control of Bohemia Interactive: Private equity firm acquires Bohemia Interactive, fast-growing Orlando computer war-game developer". Orlando Sentinel. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2013-01-09/business/os-simulation-company-acquisition-20130109_1_training-simulation-industry-private-equity-firm-budget-cuts. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "Bohemia acquires TerraSim". bisimulations.com. http://bisimulations.com/content/wed-04172013-1450/bohemia-acquires-terrasim. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "Bohemia Interactive Acquires TerraSim". Defense News. http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130419/TSJ01/304190012/Bohemia-Interactive-Acquires-TerraSim. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "VBS3 at I/ITSEC First Look". bisimulations.com. http://bisimulations.com/content/tue-12032013-0837/vbs3-iitsec-first-look. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "What Will You See in VBS3 at ITEC?". campaign-archive2.com. http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=a26fbe53f68fee4dde9f902b7&id=33a953bf76#2. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "Bohemia Interactive Simulations March Newsletter". campaign-archive1.com. http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=a26fbe53f68fee4dde9f902b7&id=132101403e#2. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "You're in the game". Army Times. http://www.armytimes.com/article/20140517/NEWS/305170032/You-re-game. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "Bohemia Interactive Simulations". bisimulations.com. http://bisimulations.com/content/thu-07032014-2311/bohemia-interactive-simulations-releases-vbs3-v34. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- Dormehl, Luke (March 20, 2019). "The U.S. Army is building a giant VR battlefield to train soldiers virtually". Digital Trends. https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/synthetic-training-environment-vr-training/.
- Graham, Peter (October 15, 2019). "BISim’s Latest Military Grade Simulator VBS4 Renders Entire Planet for Training Purposes". VRFocus. https://www.vrfocus.com/2019/10/bisims-latest-military-grade-simulator-vbs4-renders-entire-planet-for-training-purposes/.
- Frangoul, Anmar (February 5, 2019). "The British Army is testing a virtual reality training system for its soldiers". CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/05/british-army-testing-virtual-reality-training-system-for-soldiers-.html.
- "VBS3 Springs to Life at I/ITSEC 2013". campaign-archive1.com. http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=a26fbe53f68fee4dde9f902b7&id=6d3ccbed2f#2. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "VBS3 Technology - BISim". bisimulations.com. https://bisimulations.com/vbs3/technology. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "Bohemia Interactive Simulations March Newsletter". campaign-archive1.com. http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=a26fbe53f68fee4dde9f902b7&id=132101403e#1. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "Bohemia Interactive Simulations". bisimulations.com. https://bisimulations.com/content/tue-09092014-1513/bohemia-interactive-simulations-unveils-major-terrain-upgrade-gametech. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "BOHEMIA INTERACTIVE SIMULATIONS’ DEVELOPING HIGH-FIDELITY, GAME-BASED IMAGE GENERATOR". https://bisimulations.com/content/mon-09152014-1048/bohemia-interactive-simulations%E2%80%99-developing-high-fidelity-game-based-image. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
- C. Todd Lopez (3 April 2014). "Latest 'Virtual Battle Space' release adds realism to scenarios, avatars". army.mil. http://www.army.mil/article/123316/Latest__Virtual_Battle_Space__release_adds_realism_to_scenarios__avatars/. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "VBS3 NATO Now Available". bisimulations.com. https://bisimulations.com/content/mon-09292014-1034/vbs3-nato-now-available. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "US Army - GFT". bisimulations.com. https://bisimulations.com/showcase/us-army-gft. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "BluTrain 2.0 Powered by VBS3 technology debuted at ASIS Conference". bisimulations.com. https://bisimulations.com/content/tue-09302014-1642/blutrain-20-powered-vbs3-technology-debuted-asis-conference. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "UK Army". bisimulations.com. https://bisimulations.com/showcase/uk-army. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "French Air Force - FAC Training". bisimulations.com. https://bisimulations.com/showcase/french-air-force-fac-training. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "OBRUM - Gunnery and Tank Training". bisimulations.com. https://bisimulations.com/showcase/obrum-gunnery-and-tank-training. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "TELDAT". bisimulations.com. https://bisimulations.com/showcase/teldat. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "US Marine Corps". bisimulations.com. https://bisimulations.com/showcase/us-marine-corps. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "FFI - Augmented Reality". bisimulations.com. https://bisimulations.com/showcase/ffi-augmented-reality. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "Laser Shot - Weapons Training". bisimulations.com. https://bisimulations.com/showcase/laser-shot-weapons-training. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "Meggitt Training Systems - About Meggitt Training Systems - News". meggitttrainingsystems.com. http://www.meggitttrainingsystems.com/about-meggitt/news.aspx. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "Training". bisimulations.com. https://bisimulations.com/training. Retrieved 17 February 2015.