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MSBAI and Princeton partner in SpaceWERX contract to enhance space flight training
GURU's design is user-friendly and intuitive, offering multiple visualization options for space operations. It will seamlessly integrate with AFRL's White Cell Console to autonomously drive simulation tools. Additionally, the system is capable of building and managing a library of simulations for later analysis, providing comprehensive 2D and 3D visualizations of training scenarios.
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MSBAI and Princeton partner in SpaceWERX contract to enhance space flight training
by Clarence Oxford
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Dec 21, 2023

MSBAI in collaboration with Princeton University, has been awarded a significant contract valued at $1.25 million from SpaceWERX. This Phase 2 contract, part of the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) X22.D cycle, aims to revolutionize the process of space flight mission training through the introduction of GURU, a highly autonomous system designed to streamline expert workflows in software.

The importance of this initiative is underscored by U.S. Army General James H. Dickinson, Commander of U.S. Space Command, who emphasizes the necessity for U.S. Space Force, the Space Development Agency, and other key stakeholders to be at the forefront of building comprehensive military space power. This includes ensuring that forces are well-trained, equipped, and integrated into Joint Force plans to effectively compete and manage conflicts.

This project sees MSBAI and Princeton University working in close collaboration with the Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate's (AFRL RV) Defense Readiness Agile Gaming Online Network (DRAGON). Their goal is to significantly enhance the capabilities of the White Cell Trainer group. The innovative approach offered by GURU aims to reduce the time required to set up comprehensive mission design, analysis, and training scenarios - a task that conventionally takes hours or even days - to mere minutes.

The burgeoning volume of commercial and government space missions poses a significant challenge in training mission operators. Creating effective training scenarios for space flight mission operations is complex and time-consuming. GURU seeks to address these challenges by facilitating the creation of compelling training scenarios, enhancing visualization to reduce errors, and increasing the rate of training iterations and rehearsal.

GURU's design is user-friendly and intuitive, offering multiple visualization options for space operations. It will seamlessly integrate with AFRL's White Cell Console to autonomously drive simulation tools. Additionally, the system is capable of building and managing a library of simulations for later analysis, providing comprehensive 2D and 3D visualizations of training scenarios.

The integration of a variety of simulation software packages critical to space flight, such as GMAT and Cesium, is a key aspect of this project. GURU will autonomously handle simulation setup and execution, leveraging resources from the DoD High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP), including supercomputers at AFRL DSRC. Moreover, immersive virtual world building, crucial for maximizing team understanding and collaboration, will be driven autonomously by GURU using software like Unreal Engine, supporting spatial computing and mixed reality experiences with devices such as Apple's Vision Pro, Meta's Quest 3, and Ray-Ban Wayfarer.

Princeton University's Professor Ryne Beeson, from the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department, brings invaluable expertise in the mathematical theory of differential games and space flight mission design. His involvement will guide data and scenario creation for studies in differential games, focusing on space domain awareness (SDA) and courses of action (CoA) in Earth bound and cislunar environments.

Allan Grosvenor, CEO of MSBAI, expressed pride in contributing to the future of space operations. "Our team could not be more proud to be part of the future of space operations by hyper-enabling trainers, analysts, and operators to have a fast onramp to the best mission design and analysis tools, and to use them quickly and collaboratively," Grosvenor stated.

This project aligns with a global trend in the scale-up of immersive virtual world training, a market expected to reach a trillion dollars. Specifically, the commercialization potential of the Unreal Engine component of this work is significant, addressing several million users worldwide. The level of autonomy provided by GURU is increasingly essential as space flight operations approach the routine nature of commercial airline traffic, highlighting the importance of this advancement in the field of space operations training.

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