Testing new technologies and concepts for Defence in a realistic environment is a costly operation: many people and resources are involved. This has prompted TNO to develop its Advanced Concept Development & Experimentation Environment, otherwise known as 'TNO ACE'. This is a virtual world in which experiments can be methodically conducted on, say, new weapon systems. This means considerable cost and time savings for Defence.

Using simulated environments and with our help, Defence has the freedom it needs to experiment with new concepts. We bring people at all sorts of levels together in a virtual environment and enable them to experiment with, for example, existing sensors and weapon systems, and new forms of communication and information exchange. This is part of TNO's Concept Development & Experimentation (CD&E).

TNO ACE more than a virtual world

TNO assists and guides Defence in the purchase of many new systems and in the development of future ways of operating. TNO ACE is more than a virtual world in which the armed forces can experiment with new capacities; it can play a role in the development of new technologies. As it happens, TNO ACE also stands for our structured and methodological way in which these experiments are set up and conducted. Operational environments and scenarios can be imitated in exercise halls. Simulation models and tools are applied to evaluate the effectiveness and cost of new concepts and potential new technologies in all their aspects. In this way, weapon systems can be tested carefully in a virtual operational environment before being purchased

Experiments in TNO ACE

TNO ACE is not limited to one physical environment. Owing to its modular structure, which can be adapted to suit requirements, it can be distributed over different locations. TNO ACE has already proved useful in various experiments. Examples include the Joint Common Operational Picture experiment, Single Picture Integration for Territorial Water Surveillance, a Counter Improvised Explosive Device demonstration and an Above Water Warfare experiment.