Canadian Naval Combat Operator Trainer

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd., Canada

The NCOT environment

NCOT picture
Photo: MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.

The Canadian Navy maintains a 2-ocean capability with a major base on each coast - one on the Atlantic in Halifax and one on the Pacific near Victoria on Vancouver Island. Each of these bases supports a Fleet School with a broad range of simulators and trainers.

Recently a new Combat Operator Trainer was installed in both schools to provide individual operator and team training for the sensor, combat control and weapon systems on board the HALIFAX and IROQUOIS vessels.

The trainer comprises more than 100 workstations with simulated equipment panels, operator console and audio communication links. They can be easily configured to provide elementary equipment familiarization, individual operator training, sub-team training for surface, subsurface or airborne warfare situations, or full team training for a simulated mission.

A global environmental model combined with a full suite of aircraft, ship, submarine, sensor and weapon entities allows the instructor to setup complex scenarios for advanced team or multi-team training.

To provide the instructor with visibility into student performance X-Software XposeXrecord and XposeXplay with the Control option has been implemented on all workstations. This allows the instructor to view the remote student display and even assume control of the display cursor to illustrate some feature. The student display can also be selected by the instructor for overhead projection so that the whole class can view it, or it can be recorded on disk for later playback at a debriefing session.

This use of X-Software products provides more effective training and a lower instructor to student ratio. In fact one instructor can direct the training in more than one classroom.

The trainer was developed by MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.
Brett Johnson
+1 613 736-9716

Our contribution: XposeXrecord and XposeXplay

This demanding project may act as proof of concept for the X Window System networked windowing paradigm as well as for our unique X Window proxy principle.

The goal was to mirror X Window sessions in an n-to-m relation with very high n and m. In fact each of several instructors may simultaneously copy one or many students' screens to his own screen and even click into the playback window to take over input control. In addition each student's session is recorded to disk.

The Pose technology does not work pixel by pixel but on the X Window protocol level yielding rather compact data streams for recording, storage and display.

Each workstation is equipped with one XposeXrecord proxy which can feed multiple xposextool programs of XposeXplay in the network. Each xposextool program can display the playback to multiple screens or X windows simultaneously or record the X Window protocol stream including input and time stamps to disk.

Output to screen or disk can be dynamically reconfigured at any time without disturbing the recorded sessions.

The Control option of XposeXplay is used by the instructors to take over the control of a student's session.

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