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GTRI’s Margaret Loper Contributes to Combat Modeling, Simulation Book

Published: March 27, 2012


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Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) scientist Margaret Loper co-authored a chapter in a newly released book that offers a first-of-its-kind look into successful military and defense related modeling.

Published on March 27, 2012, “Engineering Principles of Combat Modeling and Distributed Simulation” taps leading international researchers and practitioners to addresses the three key elements for simulation engineers to master in defense and military modeling and simulation: the operational view, the conceptual view and the technical view.

Loper, chief scientist for GTRI’s Information and Communications Laboratory (ICL), has more than 20 years of experience in modeling and simulation. Combining this with her experience in Department of Defense High Level Architecture projects, Loper collaborated with Charles Turnitsa, principal engineer at General Dynamics Information Technology in Virginia, to write the 16th chapter in the book, “History of Combat Modeling and Distributed Simulation.”

The chapter has two parts: The history of distributed simulation and combat modeling. Turnitsa wrote the history of pre-computer training and combat modeling, while Loper wrote about the advent of simulation, which includes the early days of pilot training in the 1920s and ’30s to modern-day computer networking.

“In addition to working with Andreas Tolk, the author, I have taught many short courses in distributed simulation,” Loper said. Distributed simulation, she says, is linking various simulations at once, which the Department of Defense started developing back in the 1980s. “This was pre-Web browser, as the Internet was becoming more a part of everyday life, the military recognized that they would be able to network their various simulations together.”

Because many simulators are room-sized and non-portable, Loper says, the growing Internet infrastructure facilitated these simulations, which are used for training, design and concept exploration. In addition to teaching several short courses via the Georgia Tech Professional Education Department (GTPE), Loper helped develop established standards for how the DoD conducts these simulations.