Saturday, March 20, 2010

Canadian Air Force report predicts a sharp increase in aerospace training simulation usage

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The report, by the Canadian Forces Aerospace Warfare Centre, and release at the end of 2009 is titled "Projecting Power: Trends Shaping Canada’s Air Force in the Year 2019". The report takes a detailed look at the short term future security environment—specifically the trends, drivers and strategic shocks—that will impact on existing and emerging Air Force concepts and doctrinal designs.

What we found most interesting about this report was the Science and Technology Trends section, specifically the Advances in Simulation Technology sub-section. The report predicts that in ten years computing power and simulation technology will have advanced to the point where 3D simulations will replace training that is currently conducted in actual flight operations.

“If the increase in computing power continues, one can expect a 1,000 to 3,000 percent increase in computing power by the 2019 time frame. For simulation technology, the flight in a 2019 simulator (designed and built with 2015 technology) is expected to provide an experience that is practically on par with actual flying conditions."

The Declining Energy Resources Section predicts rapidly increasing fuel costs, declining crude oil production levels, and less access to reliable energy sources. Coupled with the advancement in simulation technology, it is predicted that using aerospace training simulators will greatly help to offset fuel costs. The report warns that due to rising energy prices over the next 10 years, the Air Force will spend between 200 and 500 million Canadian Dollars on aviation fuel annually.

"The latest simulators of tomorrow’s time frame will be capable of replacing first-stage flight training as well as most collective and operational flight training.”

The report concludes that simulation training technology will be critical in order to counter rising energy prices and still meet the demands of increased number of military operations due to geopolitical instability, without reducing the amount of training pilots receive.

You can read the entire report here: Projecting Power: Trends Shaping Canada's Air Force in the Year 2019

If you’re a training simulation sponsor or considering having a simulation developed for your business, you may be interested in a new Canadian report. The report basically quantifies what we know from common sense: systems that are based around digital technology are going to continue to see exponential improvements in performance along with similar decreases in cost.  Although non-simulated real-world training programs do see quality improvements and find costs efficiencies over time, these gains are limited by real-world constraints. For example costs for energy consumption, fuel usage, physical materials, etc. These limits don’t apply to simulated systems. As technology advances, expect to get more and more for your simulation training budget in the future.

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