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Virtual World

The operations center at The Boeing Portal located in Fleet, United Kingdom

Boeing

The operations center at The Boeing Portal located in Fleet, United Kingdom, provides a visual display of missions which are run through the portal.

Projected on a 30-foot screen, a pilots-eye view from a simulated fighter jet shows a rugged coastline appearing in the distance. Inside a secured operations center an international team of analysts and defense leaders watch closely as the jet penetrates “hostile air-space” and takes heavy fire. The group is testing the effectiveness of their military assets without even leaving the room- and Boeing’s International Experimentation team is making it happen.

Through a global network of portals and labs which include Boeing virtual centers in Anaheim, Calif., Crystal City, Va., and St. Louis, Mo., as well as the United Kingdom, India, and Australia, Boeing’s Strategic Defense & Experimentation business, part of the company’s Phantom Works division, enables customers to simulate a wide array of military, force protection and civil emergency scenarios.

“We try to make it just as realistic as we can,” said Larry New, vice president of Boeing Strategic Development & Experimentation. “We believe we have a discriminating capability in this arena.”

New says that technology has ushered in a new era of realism in the modeling and simulation world. Many of the International Experimentation team’s customers agree.

Colonel Neale Moss, AAC, with the United Kingdom Joint Helicopter Command said, “The simulation was so good, and the modeling was so good, that people actually forgot they were in a virtual world.”

Beyond the cost savings of testing assets and plans in a virtual world as opposed to a real-world working environment, Boeing’s modeling, simulation, and experimentation venues enable customers to validate their own resources and plans without risking lives.

“I see in the next decade, more and more countries testing out their defensive assets in our simulated environments,” said Eugene Beckles, director, Boeing International Experimentation. “We’ll end up working with the customer and saving lives.”