Developed by Alameda California based Total Immersion Software and funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the RealWorld program is a set of simulation technology tools that allows anyone with a laptop computer to quickly create mission-specific simulations in computerized 3-D worlds. Consisting of air, ground, and maritime combat components, the RealWorld program allows not-so-technically adept users to recreate an actual battlefield event that accurately represents the terrain, buildings (both inside and outside), and vehicles confronted in the field or to easily create a new battlefield scenario from government collected data.
One such example of the capabilities of this new simulator technology is the RealWorld Air Combat Environment or RealWorld ACE simulator which uses data from a wide variety of government databases (such as elevation data, aeronautical charts, and imagery from the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency) to create accurate training scenarios that can incorporate everything from signal recognition training to in-flight "rangeless" electronic warfare training. Moreover, in the same manner that commercial games allow multiple players to play the same game scenario at the same time, the RealWorld ACE simulator allows up to 10 students at a time to fly in the same battle space as if they were in combat reacting and responding to battlefield threats.
In addition to the above training benefits delivered by the RealWorld program, defense contractor Total Immersion who is developing RealWorld for a token sum. In turn, Total Immersion will not only have its R&D paid for, it will also be able to keep the building tools it is creating for RealWorld that will in turn be used to create commercially viable tools and platforms. Moreover, as a government funded and owned simulation, RealWorld programs can be used at any military base where they can be of use without paying licensing fees associated with commercial off the shelf products. Hence, RealWorld’s development is a win-win scenario for both the military and its private sector defense contractor and should serve as a model for future defense and private sector collaboration and cooperation.
by John Udovich for Defense Ventures