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Microsoft ESP Showcases the Future of Immersive Simulation Experiences


Government, industry and academic professionals attending Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) 2008 get an early look at future capabilities and new visual simulation solutions built on Microsoft ESP.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Microsoft Corp. today unveiled for the first time new capabilities of the next version of the Microsoft ESP visual simulation software development platform at I/ITSEC 2008. Show attendees can preview new ground-vehicle operations capabilities and multi-channel display support that will be available in ESP version 2.0. For a firsthand experience of the current version of Microsoft ESP, a range of innovative simulation solutions designed to help government and military organizations improve operational functionality, enhance mission-critical skills and mitigate risks will be displayed.

Since the debut of Microsoft ESP earlier this year, significant progress has been made working with partners and the academic research community to bring the power of immersive simulation to the desktops of defense and civilian agencies for mission rehearsal, interactive training and decision support. Growing interest in Microsoft ESP can be attributed to the cost advantages and productivity gains realized from creating mission-critical visual simulation solutions on a common software development platform that supports Windows-based commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware and software.

“Government and military organizations are looking to augment traditional readiness programs with affordable, powerful and portable simulation solutions,” said David Boker, senior director of business development for ACES Studio at Microsoft. “Microsoft ESP transforms how people learn and organizations plan and prepare by enabling partners to rapidly add scenarios, change out variables and integrate different technologies into their synthetic environments.”

In the next version of Microsoft ESP new capability for ground-vehicle operations will extend the immersive experiences of mission rehearsal and skills training from warfighters in the air to warfighters on the ground. Support for multi-channel displays will expand the view from a single-cockpit screen view to a full panoramic visual environment, making simulations built on Microsoft ESP suited for first-responder training, ground transportation training, route familiarization, mission rehearsal, and rescue and recovery operations. Working closely with partners to define and prioritize feature sets, Microsoft will be disclosing additional capabilities over the course of the software development cycle of ESP version 2.0.

Microsoft ESP makes it easy and cost-effective for government, industry and academic professionals to apply immersive games technologies to learning opportunities, workforce readiness, decision-making and operational excellence. Solutions built with Microsoft ESP’s simulation engine, tools, application programming interface (API) and synthetic world content can be used over and over again to create custom high-fidelity, dynamic, immersive experiences. Partners using ESP can augment existing capabilities, build and deploy new solutions, and integrate them with existing simulations.

“The combination of Northrop Grumman’s mission-critical experience with Microsoft ESP’s innovation is enabling the next generation of simulation solutions to be the most advanced ever seen for planning, rehearsing, training and debriefing military missions,” said Barry Rhine, sector vice president and general manager of the Command and Control Systems Division of Northrop Grumman Mission Systems. “New simulation solutions that are emerging allow for better execution, which in turn helps create a more effective military and increases warfighter safety.”

Microsoft ESP simulation solutions at I/ITSEC 2008 include the following:
• The Northrop Grumman simulator demonstrating virtual landing of an F-18 Hornet on the CVN-21 “carrier of the future” incorporating Microsoft ESP, Virtual Earth and Microsoft Surface with Northrop Grumman’s Command and Control Mission Rehearsal (C2MR)
• A Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle simulator showcasing Microsoft ESP version 2.0’s forthcoming ground-vehicle operations capability
• A helicopter flight simulator revealing Microsoft ESP’s version 2.0 multi-channel display capabilities across three large screens
• The F-16 cockpit trainer from Flight-Dynamix demonstrating the integration of Microsoft ESP version 1.0 into an existing custom hardware simulation solution
• A demonstration produced by the School of Engineering Sciences at the University of Southampton, United Kingdom, made using Microsoft ESP and Windows HPC Server 2008, showing a helicopter landing on a moving ship. A white paper, “Real-Time Computational Fluid Dynamics for Flight Simulation,” describing the process used by the scientists has been published by the I/ITSEC conference.

“It is important to be able to apply a variety of techniques in order to accurately solve challenging problems such as a helicopter interacting with a ship air wake,” said Dr. Kenji Takeda, senior lecturer in the School of Engineering Sciences at the University of Southampton. “Improvements in price/performance of technologies such as Microsoft ESP and Windows HPC Server 2008 are helping to make such breakthroughs possible.”

In response to partner requests, the Microsoft ESP group has enhanced marketing efforts on a number of fronts, including the January 2009 availability of a single-client license at $899 (U.S.) and a single software development kit (SDK) at $99 (U.S.); the announcement of a worldwide Microsoft ESP Partner Program to provide increased technical and marketing opportunities; and an ESP Developer Center on the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) now available at

I/ITSEC show attendees can experience Microsoft ESP by visiting Booth 3718.

More information about Microsoft ESP is available at Developers can access specific information from the Microsoft ESP Developer Center Web page at

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