Two Navy Virtual World Collaboration Applications: Rapid Prototyping and Concept of Operations Experimentation

Douglas Maxwell, Steven Aguiar, Philip Monte, Diana Nolan


Traditionally, US Navy has had a number of Undersea Warfare applications which require rapid prototyping capabilities as well as the need to perform cost effective concept of operations exercises. Recent investigations into the use of virtual world technologies at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) have focused on confined physical spaces that are easily replicated in a virtual environment. For example, a command & control center is a physical environment in which people interact with each other and the space they are in (i.e., attack consoles, displays, etc.) to manage information flow and decision making. Being able to optimally configure and reconfigure such a space is a critical step in the design process to ensure the end meets the necessary mission requirements. Previously the Navy has deployed small scale physical models to visualize spatial relationships (though not allowing human interaction) or large full scale models at more substantial costs. Leveraging cutting-edge virtual world technologies, today’s engineers can bring rapid prototyping to the next dimension. By transforming physical mock ups into virtual objects the costs of rapid prototyping can be drastically reduced. By extension, the designs evaluated inside the virtual worlds can then be tested under synthetic situations through concept of operations exercises.


virtual world collaboration; virtual world technology; collaborative engineering; collaborative design; undersea warfare; virtual reality; rapid prototyping; Naval Undersea Warfare Center; virtual NUWC; virtual COOPEX

Full Text:



The full website for the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research can be found at