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Defense and Intelligence

Virtual Lab Helps Army Test Network Tech Ahead of Project Convergence

Project Convergence

Virtual Lab Helps Army Test Network Tech Ahead of Project Convergence

The U.S. Army used a virtual testing environment for network technologies in preparation for the Army’s Project Convergence 21 annual modernization exercise.

The Joint Systems Integration Laboratory was established ahead of PC21 to emulate the Army’s current network, including its capabilities and constraints like distance and interference, according to Kimberly Moeltner, systems engineering and integration branch chief at the JSIL.

The setup enabled the JSIL and 13 other labs to test radio systems and other network technology without having to send employees on travel assignments, FedScoop reported.

Moeltner told the publication that one aspect that the virtual lab helped with is in shortening the timeline for cyber risk reduction tests from six weeks to just 10 days.

Officials stressed that prior testing in a modeling and simulation environment was essential to ensure that technologies being scheduled for demonstration at PC21 worked individually and as part of a network.

Lt. Gen. James Richardson, the deputy commanding general of U.S. Army Futures Command, said one of the service’s biggest takeaways from PC20 is that it was more difficult to network things together than initially thought.

Moving forward, the JSIL is expected to continue being involved in future JADC2 and other modernization test events.

Joseph Welch, director of the Army’s C5ISR Center, said in an interview with FedScoop that JSIL, and virtual testing in general, will stay relevant amid the adoption of digital twins for military systems.

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