What is an Air and Space Operations Center?

  • An Air and Operations Center, or AOC, brings in experts from all weapon systems that exist in a theater of military operations, to strategize and synergize efforts to boost the effectiveness of Air Forces engaged in the battle.

What do we need to do?

  • Propose the basic constructs as a prototype of how you’d present AOC organization, layout, etc.
  • Just supply a proof-of-concept; a basic architecture of an AOC. It’ll function as the first building block for Virtual Reality AOC education and training.

What do we want?

  • SCALABILITY: This proof-of-concept will be deployed to one of over 900 high schools, so we’d rather the application not be too in-depth.
  • DELIVERABILITY: We’d like for the proof of concept to be nationally deliverable.
  • FAMILITARITY: We need the users to become familiarized with what an AOC is/does; we’d need the proof-of-concept to convey that very well.
  • ADAPTABILITY: Students will be at various skill levels, so we’d like for the proof-of-concept to teach and play at different levels. We also need the product to be able to provide both single player and multiplayer options.
  • SIMPLICITY: We’d like for the proof-of-concept to be a basic prototype that can be expanded upon later.
  • CUSTOMIZABILITY: We’d like for the proof-of-concept framework to be changeable in future iterations to accommodate a wide variety of situational needs (e.g. regional specificity, non-network options for poor connectivity environments, etc.)

How do you want the product to be delivered?

  • We’d like for it to initially be a web page or desktop-delivered application. In the future, we’d like to move towards mobile options (e.g. Oculus Rift or Quest, Google Cardboard, etc.).

Are there any constraints on network connectivity? Issues with authorities to operate, or just a demo?

  • For proof of concept, we have a commercial network, so it isn’t too big of a deal now.
  • Network connectivity would be variable depending upon the place the application is used. Make it a standalone, non-network application, but in the future, we can scale it to accommodate various larger, more reliable networks.
  • Distribution of content project is currently available, supports up to IO4, don’t worry about how you distribute it.

Will there be options offered that will familiarize non-DOD participants with the layout and standard operations and procedures of the AOC?

  • We’re planning to have a non-overly intensive collaborative session with an SME from each of the AOC organizations to educate all participants on the AOC and its operations. Concerning the SOAPs, they have similar requirements to commercial organizations.
  • We understand that the more specific guidelines are, the greater details that the developers will provide in their proof-of-concepts, so we plan to accommodate that as much as possible.

How do you handle roles that aren’t filled? (This question referred to the scenario of a multi-player simulation of an AOC for training purposes.)

  • The initial product intended to serve as an educational piece on the overall operation of an AOC. For follow-on expansions of the Virtual AOC product, we foresee having a multi-player simulation of an AOC in action, with “unfilled” seats being handled by the simulator.

What do you mean by “multiplayer?”

  • We intend for the term “multiplayer” to mean “multiple users within one virtual space”.

What are you expecting as deliverables?

  • A descriptive whitepaper would be acceptable for the initial submission period (i.e. the first four weeks of the process). Please keep in mind that the whitepaper must include CREDIBLE evidence that you’d be able to deliver on the idea being built; if the idea is within the realm of possibility and can be brought to fruition with a reasonable amount of resources, man hours, and funding within the deadline, then that’d be great. Anything outside of that, we’d request that you’d workshop a little more.
  • If your whitepaper is selected as one of the finalists, then build the groundwork for your proof-of-concept in any way you choose that falls within our set parameters. If it’s possible, then go for it.

Will your focus be on the operations floor or the AOC as a whole?

  • As an educational piece, it’d be to the lowest, basic level (ops floor) to the highest (the AOC as a whole), so the focus is on both.

Are there any training aids that could be 3D printed with Augmented Reality, is that a viable option?

  • We wouldn’t be opposed to it, if it can be proven within the proof of concept, but if it’s useful, then great! Submit your suggestions! We’ll give them a chance!

Is this focused on USAF, or could it be included in the sister Services?

  • This initial product focuses on an AOC, but we envision that it could be scalable and customizable to handle a joint operation center layout. The texture and the concept would need to change, among other details. Remember: Customizability would be counted as a design strength!

What sort of evaluation criteria are you using?

  • Does it meet mission requirements?
  • How viable is the solution?
  • What’s the level of technical experience?  Are the right team members available?
  • Does the team have a previous success model?
  • Is the proposed timeline feasible, and does it fit within the Challenge’s mandatory timeline?
  • Is the estimate of cost a reasonable amount?
  • These are subject to change as the team discusses it. The Air Force customer will be the judge; MGMWERX will be an impartial referee.

Regional or functional operations needed? (Customized to region, or general?)

  • No nuances are needed in the proof of concept. It just needs to exemplify the general offerings. After all is proven and tested, then the additional layers will be added in follow-on iterations to refine the product based upon context. The current proposal just needs to be agile.

Are you saying that having a generic mission set for the Virtual AOC?

  • Yes, for now. We’ll go beyond it eventually, but not at this level. We just need something to get it out there and socialize it. We’d like to see how much of a presence and identity this will have. Fundamentally, this proof-of-concept doesn’t train to do a job. Rather, we just want to familiarize users with the AOC and its layout.
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