I’ve just met Maccus McCullough, who runs the NUWC (Naval Underwater Warfare Center) Campus in Second Life. Marcus recommends and uses not one, not two, but four systems to meet virtual platform needs for the US Navy.
Maccus has a public release, informational brief document that I’m still reading that explains it all. For the navy he consults on the use of Second Life, SL Enterprise Beta, OpenSim, and Teleplace/Quak. In fact, Maccus was on stage as Douglas Maxwell, his real life persona, with M Linden at the November 4th release announcement of SLE.
Several things caught my interest in our discussion:
- The Navy uses Second Life’s “robust external communication systems” to connect in-world entities to external physics and behavior models; for example, he has connected an SL sailboat to a sophisticated sailing simulation model running on an external computer.
- The Navy finds it cost-effective to test new physical designs by creating them first within Second Life, before proceeding to building physical “mock ups”. This has been done, for example, for control room layouts.
- The NUWC Campus in SL (running on Public SL) is open to the public; included are Ranges, Simulators, and a Visitor Center. Exhibits include a walk-through nuclear submarine.
- The NUWC Campus in SL is used by Navy Recruiters during campus visits to recruit scientists and engineers. A 25-person expert team can “talk” to graduates on their home campus from the NUWC SL campus. Thus, members of NUWC at multiple physical locations can “reach out to touch someone,” as one group, without travel.
- Maccus likes OpenSim because he can use it to install a “lite,” working copy of the NUWC Campus on a laptop and take it with him for demonstrations of 3D Web interaction.
- Maccus and the Navy are quite willing to share their virtual platform learnings with other branches of the US military, and with non-military enterprises and the public.
- In fact, through Maccus’ work with Linden Lab, Second Life Enterprise security has been made robust enough to meet military standards. This benefits military and corporate users whose platforms must satisfy rigorous security needs.
I will be looking over the campus (12 sims) further and sharing more as I learn about it!
Maccus McCullough (Second Life Name) – Naval Undersea Warfare Center Second Life Campus
Scott Linden (Second Life Name) – Military And Government Applications Of Second Life