July 2005 
Volume 04, Issue 3 
Integrated Defense Systems

Reaching out

BIC-DE sites extend Boeing capabilities to the customer's doorstep


The Analysis, Modeling and Simulation team solved the problem of being at multiple places at the same time with the inauguration of the first two Boeing Integration Center–Distributed Environments (BIC-DEs). Opened May 24 at the Hampton and Norfolk, Va., Boeing Field Offices, BIC-DEs are multiscreen portals capable of receiving content originating from other Boeing modeling and simulation laboratories.

Designed to bring the capabilities of the Boeing modeling and simulation network closer to Integrated Defense Systems' military customers, BIC-DEs offer a more convenient place for customers to collaborate with Boeing engineers. Their dispersed locations also better emulate the way customers actually fight, acting as dissimilar nodes sharing information via mobile, ad hoc networks.

With 35 customers attending opening ceremonies at the two locations, AMS leaders used the new viewing portals to present a multisite demonstration of Boeing's modeling and simulation capabilities.

"We're here to show you the capabilities we have today and to tell you where we are headed," said AMS Vice President Guy Higgins, who spoke to geographically dispersed audiences from the BIC-DE in Norfolk.

BIC-DEs receive live, virtual and constructive feeds from any of Boeing's modeling and simulation laboratories. These labs include the BICs in Anaheim, Calif., and Crystal City, Va., the Virtual Warfare Center (VWC) and Center for Integrated Defense Simulation in St. Louis, the Future Combat Systems' System-of-Systems Integration Laboratories in Huntington Beach, Calif., and several other Boeing modeling and simulation capability centers.

A distributed demonstration involving multiple assets showed the power of Boeing's capabilities. It included a live asset (integrating real people operating real systems) of a networked Future Combat Systems military vehicle in Huntington Beach, a virtual battle demonstration from the VWC (with real people operating simulated systems) and a distributed constructive demonstration (simulated humans operating simulated systems) originating from BIC East and BIC West, involving multiple platforms and sites.

About Boeing Integration Centers

Boeing Integration Centers are state-of-the-art visualization centers that show the increased capability of network-centric operations. System simulations, system-effectiveness modeling, rapid prototyping and operator in-the-loop exercises help determine the effectiveness of the applied technology in the target environment. In this way, new technologies can be developed, verified and virtually "deployed" prior to being introduced into existing or emerging programs.

Customers' reactions at both BIC-DEs were favorable. One noted these nodes will allow them to participate in ongoing program reviews. Another saw an immediate opportunity to insert information learned during operational testing into the early stages of a program.

AMS will open two more BIC-DE locations this year in Lexington, Mass., and Colorado Springs, Colo. Additional sites will come in 2006 and beyond. The capabilities of the BIC-DEs will evolve so each one will become an interactive participant in future distributed simulations and demonstrations.

"This is the initial step in more closely involving our customer in future interactive experiments at locations close to them—in the BIC-DEs and at their own facilities," Higgins said. "It's all about the power of networking the people and the capabilities of the nodes. Now we can further leverage the unique capabilities of Boeing and take them straight to the customer."


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