QinetiQ and Boeing mark successful first year with "The Portal"

16 Jul 2008

The Portal is an Advanced experimentation and analysis capability that meets MOD industry needs


Since the opening of The Portal in July 2007, QinetiQ and The Boeing Company have conducted a broad spectrum of training events, demonstrations, and classified experiments in support of numerous UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) and industry programmes. The Portal has successfully supported more than 130 separate activities ranging in scale from half-day workshops to multi-week experiments, and has met all requirements.

The state-of-the-art decision support capability at QinetiQ’s Cody Technology Park site in Farnborough, England is enabling customers to explore and understand implications of proposed network-enabled systems in a real time, dynamic environment featuring the latest in modelling, simulation, analysis and experimentation techniques and tools.

QinetiQ and Boeing have undertaken several joint activities but most projects have been in support of individually managed programmes. Customers have been testing logistical requirements across a wide range of existing and future operational settings and against a variety of threats. Experiment designers create enhanced environments with multiple concurrent activities to compare the effectiveness and survivability of competing systems, test future scenarios and assess potential solutions before they are delivered to the front line. Operators have also addressed the interoperability issues of coalition war fighting through combinations of live assets and virtual simulations.

“Partnering with Boeing on this exciting venture continues to provide value for us collectively, individually and for the growing and quite diverse range of customers that are now benefiting from the capabilities The Portal provides,” said Graham Love, QinetiQ's Chief Executive. “The Portal allows customers to explore many alternative scenarios in a fully immersive and interactive environment, and to see the effects of introducing new technologies to support current systems and platforms in order to optimise design concepts and performance.”

“The Portal enables us to support our customer’s decision-making processes by helping them to explore their options, evaluate alternative solutions, minimise risk, and reduce cost and development time,” added Darryl Davis, president of Boeing Advanced Systems.

QinetiQ has undertaken projects including a training demonstration to investigate the feasibility and effectiveness of running a virtual training event for road convoy personnel. Drawing on its ballistic missile defence experience QinetiQ also hosted a distributed test and demonstration event to evaluate the credibility of UK technologies as part of a wider missile defence programme. In support of NITEworks – the MOD/industry collaboration for advanced decision support capability – QinetiQ, with assistance from Boeing, investigated which process, organisation, doctrine and training changes or technology insertions would be most effective for an integrated air defence command and control system.

Boeing projects include a series of analyses – including virtual/constructive operator-in-the-loop experiments – for the Future Rapid Effect Systems (FRES) programme that led to the successful award of the FRES Systems of Systems Integrator (SOSI) role to the Thales-Boeing team earlier this year. Other activities include participation in a NITEworks FRES project, classified analysis into disruptive technologies for the equipment community, and – in conjunction with QinetiQ – future-concepts analysis for the Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre.

The Portal’s capabilities continue to support the MOD’s Industrial Strategy and Defence Technology Strategy, which both recommend that UK suppliers invest in the tools and technologies to enable future military hardware and software solutions to be assessed in a variety of operational environments. QinetiQ’s ‘quest’ wide area network features nodes across the UK in multiple domains including land, missile defence, air and sea. The Boeing Laboratory Network links more than 700 Boeing labs including the Systems Analysis Laboratory in Brisbane, Australia, US government labs and industry partners.

The 6,000 square foot Portal facility features laboratories, viewing areas, syndicate rooms and a state-of-the-art presentation and audio visual suite that can link to an additional 14,000 square foot experimentation space and up to 50,000 square feet of hard standing area for large vehicles or mobile facilities such as a tented headquarters.

The Portal supports all major simulation software systems and uses the latest Dual- and Quad-Core Intel® Xeon® central processing unit technology. Significant secure storage is available along with a scalable bandwidth link up to 32 Mbps in size that can securely connect The Portal to other QinetiQ, Boeing, industry and MOD facilities in the UK and around the world. The facility also can connect to the Joint Multi National Interoperability Assurance Network for MOD-sponsored programmes.

The Portal is a jointly-owned asset of Boeing Defence UK Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company, and QinetiQ.

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QinetiQ and Boeing mark successful first year with "The Portal"