Using Highly Interactive Virtual Environments for Safeguards Activities

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14 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 11 μήνες)

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1


Using
Highly Interactive Virtual Environment
s

for Safeguard
s

Activities
*


Dawn Eipeldauer,
**

Benjamin Alcala,


Logan Weil,



Bradley Weil,
**

and Scott Alcala
**


**
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

P.O. Box 2008, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831




ITT Technical Ins
titute

Knoxville, Tennessee 37932


Abstract


Highly interactive virtual environment (HIVE) is a term that refers to interactive educational
simulations,
serious
games
,

and virtual worlds
.
Studies indicate that learning
with the aid of
interactive environm
ents produces better retention and depth of knowledge by promoting
improved trainee
engagement and
understanding
.
Virtual reality or
three
-
dimensional (
3D
)

visualization is often used to promote the understanding of something when personal
observation, pho
tographs, drawings, and/or sketches are not possible or available
.
Subjects and
situations, either real or hypothetical, can be developed using a 3D model
.
Models can be
tailored to the audience
,

allowing safeguards and security features to be demonstrated

for
educational purposes in addition to engineering evaluation and performance analysis.
Oak Ridge
National Laboratory
(ORNL)
has begun
evaluating the feasibility of HIVE
s

for improving

safeguards
activities such as
training, mission planning, and
evaluat
ing
worker task
performance
.
T
his paper will discuss the development work

flow of
HIVEs
and present some
recent examples
.


Introduction


Can you imagine being small enough to enter the internal structure of a single cell or being
so
indestructible you can
visit the depths of the ocean, the internal core of a fusion reactor, or the
surface of
Mars
?
W
ould you
enjoy playing
the role of a

first responder or practicing
tactics for
finding
and removing a dirty

bomb from the next Olympic village?
Imagine attending

a
workshop or training course on a nuclear safeguards topic while actually standing in a
processing
facility and
practicing
operations

and
procedures

while interacting with the
technical
solutions deployed
.
Also imagine attending
this training
session wit
h
other attendees from

around the world
and having the ability to communicate and exchange ideas without spending
any
time
or

money
on

travel
.
These ideas
may be

possible
in the future using

current technology
that is
supporting

HIVEs.


Defining a
HIVE


Th
e term
HIVE

encompasses the combined areas of educational simulations,
serious
games, and
virtual worlds
.
Educational simulations are structured environments, abstracted from some
specific real
-
life activity
, with

stated levels and goals
that
allow

partici
pants to practice real
-
world skills with appropriate feedback

but without affecting real processes or people
.



*
N
otice:

This manuscript has been authored by UT
-
Battelle, LLC,

under contract DE
-
AC05
-
00OR22725 with the U.S.

Department of Energy.
The United States Government retains and the publisher, by accepting the article for publication, acknowledges that the Unite
d States
Government retains a non
-
exclusive, paid
-
up, irrevoc
able, worldwide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this manuscript, or
allow others to do so, for United States Government purposes.

2


Educational simulations are more challenging experiences that rigorously develop skills and
capabilities
. S
erious games are

designed for a primary

purpose other than pure entertainment.
They provide

interactive experiences that are easy and fun to engage while building
situation
awareness
.
Virtual worlds are 3D environments
in which
participants
in
different locations
can
interact

with each other
.
T
hese environments can capture and convey enough social cues such as
body language, interactive props, and the look and feel of real surroundings to convince some
part of the participants


brains that they are physically in the other world. Increasingly
im
portant, some virtual worlds also enable participants to build and otherwise change the
environment
or
role
-
play
ing

scenarios
.
1


Benefits of HIVEs


Studies indicate that learning with the aid of
a
carefully designed
HIVE

produces better
retention and depth

of knowledge by promoting improved trainee engagement and
understanding
.

According to Adrich, “The early

evidence, both
rigorous and anecdotal, seems
to strongly suggest that highly interactive virtual learning is a permanent transformation of the
educat
ional landscape, coming out of its somewhat awkward adolescence and entering early
maturity. This is due in part to interactive environments


ability to produce better traditional
academic results.”
1

Unlike traditional lecture (sage on a stage) approaches

that promote

learning to know
,


HIVEs

offer

learning to do


and “
learning to be


by engaging the learner
in environments that
can

promote an emotional
response such as the frustration of failure or the
pride of success
.
T
he b
enefits of
learning in a
vir
tual world
,

as outlined by Gronstedt, include
eliminating distance barriers, providing richer communication, engaging multiple senses,
promoting
self
-
paced learning, break
ing

down
cultural and hierarchical

barriers
, and having
fun.
2

Additional publications

that discuss the issues of learning with HIVEs are referenced at the
end of this paper.
3, 4


For safeguards education, HIVEs offer the
ability
to visualize and interact with
virtual
representations of real or
hypothetical items or locations
usually
inacce
ssible due to safety,
security, or
cost constraints
.
A virtual world specifically devoted to safeguards training could
include generic facilities that represent the entire civilian fuel cycle
.
Besides power produc
tion

and
research reactors, facilities for
enrichment,
fuel fabrication,
reprocessing, conversion,
storage, down
-
blending, and waste disposal could be
modeled in a virtual world with the
capability to
demonstrate

site
-
to
-
site transportation scenarios
.
With
a virtual world’s

potential
for massive mu
lti
-
user on
-
line interactive role
-
playing,
distributed
users could
tour

th
ese

fuel

cycle
facilities as a group
to
observe and
discuss safeguards and security best practices

with a
subject matter expert
, or
schedule interactive role
-
playing scenarios

or for
ce
-
on
-
force exercises
to foster improved situation awareness and responses.


HIVE Examples


If a picture is worth a 1000 words, then how much is an interactive 3D model worth?
Researchers and program development managers seeking to find funding for new pr
ojects use
rendered photorealistic images or videos to convey concepts or ideas that might otherwise be
difficult to understand
.
Models and scenes of

hypothetical processes, equipment, or locations,
either purchased or made, can be constructed easily
.
With

proper planning during the modeling
process, the same models for static images or animated videos can be imported directly into a
HIVE
.
With additional back
-
end programming code, HIVE object model behaviors can allow
users to test time and motion scenario
s or connect to real
-
time or simulated sensor data.


3


To prepare for an American Nuclear Society workshop, ORNL subject matter experts decided to
abandon floor plan

drawings

as visual aids when discussing the best practices for nuclear
material protection c
ontrol and accounting
.
Instead, they requested and helped direct the rapid
development of a HIVE containing a hypothetical nuclear material processing facility
.
The
subject matter
experts
provided technical guidance
during
the HIVE development process so
t
hat the essential safeguard elements to be discussed in the workshop
would
be included.
The
HIVE was developed with
a commercially available interactive game engine
.
With its lighting
and sound capabilities and the depiction of special particle and physics

effects,
this game engine
can provide a visually rich environment to hold the user
’s

interest
.
Although no background
script programming was required for this workshop visual aid, the game engine approach does
provide a very significant scripting language

to create behaviors for objects, computer
characters, and the graphical user interface
.
Due to the very short development time

available for
this project
, animated
object behaviors in the environment
were limited to
drivable vehicles,
functional doors tha
t opened and closed, and v
ideo assessment cameras and
monitors that
captured and displayed real
-
time images in the virtual space
.
The workshop instructors used the
portable visual aid as an interactive tour of the virtual environment
.
Potential future uses

for this
visual aid
could
include multi
-
user role
-
playing, process layout planning, and vulnerability
assessment training and process improvement
.
Static screenshots of the workshop HIVE are
shown in
F
igures 1 through 4
.


To assist
with the mission planni
ng tasks of a uranium material processing and retrieval project,
a project manager requested a HIVE and 3D models of project assets that could be used to
develop component arrangements, estimate
space requirements, and evaluate operational
processes for op
timum
productivity
.
While
immersed
in

the virtual environment of the HIVE,
project operations personnel can easily visualize how
the final site will be arranged and can
evaluate logistical traffic patterns, identify areas of
congestion
, and make improvemen
ts
.
With
additional funding, the potential for multi
-
user online role
-
playing could be added to the HIVE
and process operators could evaluate process scenarios and work

flows
.
This technology also
allows the use of
geographical information system data

to
s
imulate the actual proposed site
terrain
.
Static screenshots of the workshop HIVE are shown in
F
igures 5 through 8.


The HIVE demonstrated at the
poster session

of the
51
st

Annual Meeting of the Institute of
Nuclear Material Management

is a simulated mater
ial storage vault
.
Container items of
simulated material can be picked up and moved within the vault room
.
Parameters, such as
container number, gross weight, installed seal number
,

and simulated assay reports and spectra,
can be assigned to each item
.
Pro
grammed behaviors for a bar code reader, weighing scale
,

and
nondestructive assay (NDA) system
can be triggered
.
The HIVE can be used to educate users
about the tasks involved
in

perform
ing

a 100% physical inventory or conduct
ing

confirmatory
verification
of a statistical sample of containers
.
The capability
also
exists to introduce abnormal
weights,
seal numbers
, and
/or NDA results to evaluate situation awareness and response.


HIVE Development Process


Development of a
HIVE requires talented people
who

ca
n communicate with customers and
subject matter experts to make an idea a “virtual reality.”
Customers know the need or purpose
for the final deliverable
, and

s
ubject matter experts provide the knowledge to the design team
that will make the HIVE appear an
d behave like reality
.
The project director and artists perform
the make or buy decisions to keep the costs and schedule on track
.
Digital a
rtists use the
technical tools to create
the appropriate
3D models, textures, and animations when required
.
HIVE des
igners construct the terrain, import 3D objects, and make decisions about lighting,
sound
,

and special effects
.
Programmers develop the code that determines the behavior and
4


interaction between the virtual environment and the user
.
When completed, the fina
l product
offers users, both
instructors

and trainees, a virtual environment with highly interactive
experiences.


Summary


The Global Nuclear Security and Technology Division at
ORNL is evaluating the use of virtual
modeling and properly developed HIVEs
to
augment

safeguards
projects
.
Studies from other
industries and academic institutions indicate
that
carefully designed HIVE
s

can
produce better
retention and depth of knowledge by promoting improved
user

engagement and understanding.
1

Additional

benefits

include
eliminating distance barriers, providing richer communication,
engaging multiple senses, promoting self
-
paced learning, breaking down cultural and
hierarchical barriers, and having fun.
2


Project planners and managers are also finding HIVEs
useful

for technical proposals and mission planning.


References


1.

C. Aldrich,
Learning Online with Games, Simulations, and Virtual Worlds

Strategies for
Online Instruction
, John Wiley & Sons, 2009.


2.

A. Gronstedt, “
Training in Virtual Worlds
,” Infoline Issue 080
3, American Society for
Training &
Development, 2008.


3.

W
.
Ritke
-
Jones, “Virtual Environments for Corporate Education
-

Employee Learning and
Solutions
,


Business Science Reference
,

2010.


4.

J. Molka
-
Danielson and M. Deutschmann,
Learning and Teaching in the V
irtual World of
Second Life
, Tapir Academic Press,

2009.














5



Figure
1
.
Aerial view of hypothetical process facility.




Figure
2
.

Microwave intrusion detection
.

6



Figure
3
.

Vehicle portal monitoring station with video assessment
.



Figure
4
.
Controlled
a
ccess
v
ault storage
.

7



Figure
5
.
Overview of
m
obile
u
ranium
f
acility
.


Figure
6
.
Mobile
e
xpand
able
c
ollaps
i
ble
c
onfiguration
t
ent
.

8



Figure
7
.
Material
s
torage inside a Rubb
s
helter
.


Figure
8
.

Overpack equipment inside a Rubb
s
helter
.