History and Development Philosophy in SEDRIS

SEDRIS was initiated in 1994 as a co-sponsored activity by the program manager for Combined Arms Tactical Trainer (PM-CATT) at the Simulation Training and Instrumentation Command (STRICOM, now PEO STRI) and the Synthetic Theater of War (STOW) program at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to provide solutions to the complex problem of environmental data representation and interchange for networked heterogeneous applications.

The long-standing problem of environmental representation was recognized in the mid-1980's with Project 2851 and the DARPA SIMNET program. Project 2851 was a joint service program lead by the U.S. Air Force. Databases used in visual systems, built for aircraft simulations, were the primary focus of Project 2851. The SIMNET program included the additional element of networked simulation with both visual and non-visual applications (SAF) interoperating together. Distributed simulation requires a common representation of "place", relative to the application view of the common world. A common representation of place is a precondition to interoperability. As distributed simulation changed the world of simulation, the addition of Joint (multi-service) and Combined (multi-country) applications expanded the complexity of environment representation. With lessons learned from previous work to solve specific parts of the problem (such as Project 2851 and the DARPA work in SIMNET), SEDRIS was initiated to provide a capability for solving the environmental data representation and interchange problems for heterogeneous systems that would be required to interoperate in networked and distributed applications.

The SEDRIS project addressed several tough technical and business problems such as:

  • How to deal with the lack of an underlying environmental framework?
  • How to get a total set of requirements?
  • How to keep the commercial process and proprietary product involved, but have an open exchange mechanism to support distributed simulation?
  • How to support different views with air, land, sea and space, as well as different spatial locations (coordinate systems)?

The SEDRIS approach includes solutions to the following challenges:

  • Support for representation of multiple views of the same place.
  • The loss-less exchange of data.
  • A need for a common data representation model.
  • A practical view with considerations for tradeoffs between design and implementation.
  • Collaborative activities between government, industry and academia.

The SEDRIS project started as a U.S. government-led program with the maximum participation of industry, the use of international and commercial standards, as well as the support of commercial and government products. The SEDRIS organization includes the management team, the SEDRIS Associates, and the core team. The management team provides the overall direction and coordination. The SEDRIS Associates provide requirements, and collaboratively participate in the development and review of the technologies, implementations and specifications. The SEDRIS Associates make up one of the unique aspects of the SEDRIS project. They are a widely diverse collection of industry (U.S. and International) and government organizations. The core team provides the technical development and implementation, technical management, development and review of specifications, collection and adjudication of proposed changes or requirements, and integration and testing of the SEDRIS core products with recurring releases. The Defense Modeling and Simulation Office (DMSO) has been the primary sponsoring organization.

From the inception of SEDRIS in 1994 until 1996, the primary sources of funding were DARPA and U.S. Army STRICOM (now PEO-STRI) PM-CATT program. Since then, funding has come from several sources, but primarily from DMSO. Additionally, several/most of the associates, who were under contract initially, invested in the development of SEDRIS technologies through cost sharing. In recent years contracts have been limited to core performers, but other associates continue to support the SEDRIS effort with other funding sources such as internal corporate funding, R&D or through their involvement in other government-sponsored projects that deal with environmental data.

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Last updated: April 26, 2004