There are many viewpoints about the right balance between live vs. virtual training in order to achieve safe and efficient mission success. The answer lies in measuring the effectiveness of the training.
Live training and hands-on experience is very effective. However, the fact is, live training is very costly. People, equipment and assets have to be moved, which equates to significant investment of both dollars and resources.
These costs can be cut by training in a virtual environment, but it has to be realistic to be effective and truly prepare troops for mission success.
To ensure training effectiveness, the industry and military are coming together to analyze, research and measure training experiences. One specific example is biometrics to measure equipment training. The use of biometrics in virtual training environments measures a pilot’s physiological responses helps judge the effectiveness of training and answers the following questions:
- What is happening in the bodies of participants in training?
- Do they react as if they are actually in danger in that particular moment?
- Are they effectively learning how to react with the presence of adrenaline?
During a training exercise this can provide immense amounts of information and direction for future training scenarios. The technology to test a pilot’s emotional and physiological reactions while flying in a simulator would create an opportunity for engineers to determine what needs to be adjusted to create a more realistic battlespace environment. Beyond that, a connection between the biometric feedback and the training system in order to maximize the training scenario could create the most effective system.
Rockwell Collins’ role:
The simulation and training industry, along with the defense organizations that use them, continues to assess the balance between live and virtual training. While many understand that live training is most effective, the ability to create virtualized programs that integrate the innovative technologies will go a long way in maximizing investments for mission-critical training programs.