On the same day that the Tories make negotiating Arctic boundary disputes its top foreign-policy priority in the Far North, the government also put out a "notice of proposal" on Merx for a Synthetic Environment For Arctic.
What the hell is that, you ask?
Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) an agency of the Department of National Defence (DND) requires services related to developing state-of-the-art in modeling arctic phenomena for scenarios. The intent of the Work to be performed is to develop a real-time, immersive, interactive, three-dimensional synthetic environment for the Canadian North which enables exploration oft he common operating picture and course-of-action analysis.
Outside of the core project, there are several optional "work packages", one being:
Optional Work Package 2 (Task Authorized Support Option): Thiswill consist of one (1) option period of one (1) year for theprovision of task authorized support services to DRDC. Services may be used to perform additional user trials, training, furtherd evelopment of uncovered Modelling and Simulation (M&S)limitations and/or execute a series of virtual war-games.Support services will be provided on an as and when requested basis.
Synthetic environments are Internet simulations that represent activities at a high level of realism, from simulations of theaters of war to factories and manufacturing processes. Here's a bit from the wiki article on synthetic natural environments, which is what DRDC is looking for:
A Synthetic natural environment (SNE) is the representation in a synthetic environment of the physical world within which all models of military systems exist and interact (i.e. climate, weather, terrain, oceans, space, etc.). It includes both data and models representing the elements of the environment, their effects on military systems, and models of the impact of military systems on environmental variables (e.g. contrails, dust clouds from moving vehicles, spoil from combat engineering).
A honking big (price tag: up to $150,000) virtual Frozen North to play war games on. Because I guess negotiations sometimes fail!
Damn! I want one!