The world’s largest virtual training system, Combined Arms Tactical Trainer (CATT) developed through Lockheed Martin under contract with the British government, connects up to 400 war fighters, enabling them to train together in a computer-generated environment. Soldiers at each training center enter a vast network of linked simulators and emerge onto a virtual battlefield where they can train together in real-time. The realistic, geo-specific environments support training for ground, air, logistics and other components of the modern-day battlefield.
Currently, there are two training sites in operation for the British Army: Warminster, England and Sennelager, Germany. Both sites have the capability to be linked through a wide area network for larger training exercises, making CATT the largest networked virtual training system in the world.
The CATT simulators use a combination of Comtrol’s RocketPort® and DeviceMaster® connectivity platforms. Comtrol’s Rocketport PCI cards provide connectivity for each simulator being linked to a multitude of sensors, while the DeviceMaster platform network enables each simulator to be linked to different locations and tactical groups.
There were a number of connectivity challenges to overcome in the CATT system’s design, and with the amount of simulators to connect, the number of IP addresses were in short supply. Comtrol’s high density DeviceMaster allowed 32 simulators to attach to a single IP address, minimizing the load on the network. Overall system performance and latency requirements were also critical to the application. Comtrol’s RocketPort cards and DeviceMaster device servers provided an ideal match of performance and functionality.
The CATT simulators provide a large variety of battlefield situations, vantage points and conflict combinations for soldiers to train. Simulator training specifications include:
Comtrol’s connectivity offerings provided the scalability and flexibility needed to link all of the systems together; from each individual simulator to entire networks of training facilities.