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Stop by booth 1213 or meeting room 182

I/ITSEC 2023

Presented by:

Headshot of Dan Stouch

Daniel W. Stouch

Principal Scientist
Director of Space and Airborne Systems

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Immersive Space Operations Training in Extended Reality

Wednesday, November 29, 2023: 2:30–3:00 PM
Where: W307D
Track: TR 4: Reality Re-Imagined

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The United States Space Force (USSF) is envisioned as a digital service to accelerate innovation; however, the training of next-generation space operators largely relies on analog physical models and PowerPoint lectures. Consequently, new operators do not often fully grasp the fundamentals and complexities of the space domain, including threats, hazards, opportunities, and routing maneuvers–leading to longer training times and costly errors.

Fortunately, new training methods involving augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), collectively extended reality (XR)) have proven effective to educate and train students in many fields and has strong applicability for space education.

This presentation will summarize the emerging state of the art in operational training techniques for space operations using XR techniques, proven to reduce cognitive load, help new operators quickly understand complex scenarios, and make better, more informed decisions. These techniques include immersive, interactive, and collaborative engagement with representative space scenarios, considering maneuver tradeoffs, relative resident space object (RSO) positioning, and mission task deconfliction. 3D Volumetric XR Visualizations provide enhanced spatiotemporal understanding for proximity-based threat and hazard assessments, tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) planning, and course of action (COA) evaluations within a configurable virtual environment.

Synchronized AR overlays provide immersive shared access to user-level information and 3D satellite models, while variable timescales enable forward orbital propagation and backward forensic analysis to more completely understand complex orbital scenarios. Dynamic scenario creation tools enable challenging interactive student exercises, instructor-student synchronization accelerates learning through parallel hands-on training, and artificial intelligence (AI)-based skill tracking mechanisms intelligently track student proficiency.

These advanced XR environments, combined effectively with well-formed training curricula and automatic skill tracking will help train professional space operators to better manage complex spacecraft in the dynamic, contested environment beyond the Earth’s atmosphere.

Presented by:

Rob Hyland

Principal Scientist
Director of Program Transition

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AI Inference of Team Effectiveness for Training and Operations

Wednesday, November 29, 2023: 3:30–4:00 PM
Where: W308A
Track: ECIT 09: AI and Intelligent Decision Support Technologies

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How can we build AI that robustly recognizes how well a team is doing from behavioral data that exhibit the full range of human complexity and dynamics? One method is cognitive inversion. An AI with a causal model of human behavior that is sufficiently dynamic to account for behavioral variability and teammate interactivity and scoped to a set of tasks and interactions of interest, combined with probabilistic program inference, can invert that behavioral model to generate hypothesizes about the underlying goals and causes of observed behavior. As a tutor, coach, or teammate, the AI can then intervene to assist when needed. Here, we describe a prototype prescient, socially intelligent coach (PSI-Coach), a system to perform cognitive inversion, and supporting components. PSI-Coach monitors team members to: recognize their goals, mental states, and behaviors from dynamic streams of actions by combining probabilistic programming inference with a cognitive architecture designed to capture human variation; use those recognized cognitive states to infer team shared mental models and whether they are in alignment or skewed; analyze these goals, mental states, behaviors, and shared mental models to compute practical, real-time team performance indicators; and use all of this information with interactive-narrative technology to plan minimally-intrusive, effective, strategically timed interventions that help to improve team performance. In experiments, we demonstrated PSI-Coach ability to automatically identify team process problems unique to different teams and their situation dynamics, and to provide timely, tailored intervention content that improved team processes within 60 seconds. PSI-Coach showed a 35% increase over two comparison systems’ real-time inferences (p<0.05) and a 42% and 68% increases in agreement with human coaches on interventions over a baseline inference method (p<0.05). Compared to no-advisor teams, PSI-Coach showed a 60% improvement in aligned-team-priorities (p=0.09) and 13% improvement in coordinated-communication (p=0.09) compared to baseline trials with no interventions.

Presented by:

Sean Guarino Headshot

Sean L. Guarino

Principal Scientist
Director of Training Systems

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Cyber Reactive Adversary Framework for Training

Wednesday, November 29, 2023: 4:00–4:30 PM
Where: W307A
Track: SIM 7: Cyber Attack: The Unseen

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Networks have become a critical background for military operations as adversaries and hackers become increasingly prolific and proficient at cyber warfare. Despite this, cyber training has remained focused on large-scale exercise that can be expensive and time-consuming, and ultimately too infrequent. A key element that drives this decision is the need for human experts to control adversary cyber operations forces (OPFOR). These experts can be difficult to obtain, and, when available, the goal is often to leverage their time to the greatest extent possible, driving these complex events. This paper describes ongoing work to develop an automated cyber adversary framework that enables the insertion of dynamic adversary behaviors into a live training environment, alongside tools for instructors and red cell operators to understand and customize the training experience provided by the automated adversary. Our solution combines: (1) an adaptive adversary framework that uses reactive behavior modeling to provide realistic, dynamic, and customized adversary behavior for meeting training objectives; (2) a cyber execution engine that integrates adversary agents with tools in the network environment, translating high-level adversary activities into appropriate low-level attack actions; and (3) an instruction support suite that provides tools for configuring, tracking, adjusting, and revising adversary behaviors to provide effective training. To enable rapid application across a wide range of adversaries, we have developed a behavioral template that can be adapted to include different types of attack tools, methods, and tactics. We will describe and demonstrate our application of this template and framework to model several advanced persistent threats identified in MITRE’s ATT&CK framework. Future work is focusing on extending this framework to support a wider range of adversaries and adversary tactics, and integrating this evolving training environments such as the DoD’s persistent cyber training environment (PCTE).

At I/ITSEC 2023, we are featuring KWYN™, our AI platform for adaptive mission support and training

Note: You must hold a conference pass to attend our I/ITSEC events.

Learn more about how we can make our adaptive intelligent training and operational coaching work for you at I/ITSEC 2023.

Schedule a meeting with us!