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Umbra Contact
(505) 844-3621


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This page lists products that Sandia’s Interactive System Simulation & Assessment (ISSA) department provides or supports with the Umbra Simulation Framework and other simulation tools are shown on this page. See the services page for information about use and modification of these products. See the competencies page for additional detail about capabilities that Sandia applies for their products and services.

Each product listed displays a range of Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) for that product; a range is necessary, because not all applications of each product have been demonstrated to be at the same readiness level. TRLs are with respect to the DoD scale.

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Umbra Overview Video

Augmented Reality Simulation through Umbra

Human Behavior is emulated with Umbra

Cyber-physical system integration with Umbra

Robotic applications with Umbra

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Umbra is a flexible simulation framework for complex systems that can be used by itself for modeling, simulation, and analysis, or to create specific applications. Attributes of Umbra include the following:

Umbra supports a large library of existing elements, is composable and modular, and supports reuse. A wealth of 3D geometric viewing and analysis capabilities exist. Umbra has been used to solve specific problems and to develop focused applications. Initial exploration of concepts in Umbra can often take only hours or days because of its ability to quickly decompose complex system problems into fundamental simulation constructs.
Umbra integrates well with other simulations directly or may communicate through interfaces, such as DIS (Distributed Interactive Simulation), HLA (High Level architecture), or TENA (Test and Training Enabling Architecture). It has also been used as a framework to integrate other simulations, hardware, and communications. Umbra supports time-stepped, discrete-event, and interrupt activity. It operates on Windows and Linux on laptops, or on desktops through a cluster environment. A Java-based core, or “Jumbra,” has also been developed.

One unique attribute of Umbra is a formal “Worlds abstraction” used to support modularization of any world model (US Patent No. 7,085,694). This is in contrast to many simulation environments, which rely upon a fixed set of data structures or a global variable space. Such approaches limit the practical scale and scope of problems to which these codes can be applied. Umbra uses world modules to provide realistic physical environments. Umbra also provides event order optimization.

Agents operate in various heterogeneous scenarios that include environment (terrains, weather, plumes, communications, etc.), objects (vehicles, devices, cyber-systems, etc.), sensed phenomena (magnetic, acoustic, seismic, radiation, etc.), behavior (state based, cognitive, etc.), or external simulations. These environments can co-exist in the same simulation environment and share data in a loosely coupled relationship. Due to Umbra’s modular Worlds abstraction, it is easy to combine models that use any or all of these Worlds into one functioning simulation.
Umbra can be licensed from Sandia and is available to U.S. Government activities free of
charge. As with many technologies, Umbra is export controlled. Additional technical and historical detail is available here.



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Dante Overview Video

Dante simulation tool


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Dante facilitates creation, simulation, and analysis of scenarios to explore effectiveness of tactics, technologies, and procedures in a range of environments, including physical, cyber, and behavior. Scenarios include simulation of physical objects (e.g., buildings, equipment, vehicles, or weapons), people and their behaviors, and such information as communications and cyber systems. Scenarios can be run with such variations as changes in tactics, technology type, behaviors, perceptions, or variations on sensor locations. Because red and blue forces can be simulated in this serious gaming environment, force-on-force or red teaming scenarios are supported.

Hundreds of runs can be generated overnight. Even more runs can take place if simulations are distributed among computer cores or across a cluster. Monte Carlo distributions can be added for sensitivity analysis. Dante includes built-in analysis and visualization capabilities. Data can be exported to databases for analysis by the customer’s preferred tools. Results from Dante can be used to inform decision makers and operators on the effectiveness of existing and future systems for defense, combat, first response, or other situation assessment. Evaluation of scenarios in Dante can support development of policy and CONOPS and act as documentation and justification for decisions.

Dante can generate large quantities of stochastic data for assessments, red teaming, “trade-off” or “what-if” studies, and sensitivity analysis. As such, it is a useful tool to leverage and balance with live exercises and experiments.

Dante supports visualization of scenarios in 3D at rates faster, slower, or equal to real time. Visualization is not typically utilized in Dante when collecting data from large numbers of runs.
Dante is used in evaluation of tactics and technology for secure facilities and in-theater requests from current conflicts.

Interactive Dante

Because Dante is based on Umbra, all of the interactive, LVC (Live-Virtual-Constructive) capabilities of Umbra are available to Dante. Interactive Dante is a family of serious gaming approaches to insert live interaction with Dante scenario execution. Sandia is developing an Interactive Dante capability at this time. Existing examples are available, such as a keyboard, game controller, tangible table, and augmented reality, but this technology is currently maturing.

Visualization and gaming in Interactive Dante is not intended to equal elaborate commercial video games. We use visualization that is sufficient for the problem being addressed.



OpShed's real-time evaluation tool







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Interaction of physical structures, terrain, sensors, security forces, and adversaries in land-sea-air environments presents a complex situation for system analysis, design, and operation. OpShedTM enables quick study of sensor layouts to accelerate design and installation of security systems at secured facilities, perimeters, and borders.
If desired, OpShed can also shadow real-time operation as a tool to test sensors, evaluate performance, and consider forensic data in the field. Real-time activity in the region of study can be streamed into the tool to evaluate and compare simulated versus live sensor response. Because OpShed is built upon Umbra, simulated system behavior and simulated adversaries can be inserted to allow for a training system that matches the real equipment seen by the operators.

During design stages, security experts and decision makers can explore interaction of terrain, water, environmental conditions, buildings, technology, and security force operational procedures. Communication and cyber effects can be included. Simulated stimulus can be inserted, including wind driven objects, vehicles, animals, and a variety of human behaviors. Interaction between sensors and stimulus, given various environmental conditions, can be simulated with as much fidelity as required.

Existing sensor models in the tool include a variety of radars, wireless radios, imagers, cameras, and ground sensors. A high-fidelity terrain can be rapidly created and imported into the tool.

Validation of a site’s simulation or model can be simplified by streaming live field data into the tool. For instance, Radar sensor models can be validated at the site by recording real targets transmitting their GPS location as they travel through the terrain. Comparison is made between simulated sensor detection and real sensor detection so that sensor coefficients can be tuned for the specific site model. This validation may optionally be continued through operation for continuous monitoring of the system and simulation.

This tool has been used by facility analysts at multiple sites. It has been shown to significantly reduce the cost of designing and evaluating sensor performance. Analysts can now evaluate sensor performance within the tool with respect to the appropriate terrain to understand site regions that are well understood and to identify those regions that will benefit from real-time field testing. This tool was also used to specify sensor requirements of proposed new facilities before terrain modifications were performed at the site.



Configuration Space Toolkit (C-Space Toolkit or CSTK)

The Configuration Space Toolkit (CSTK or C-Space Toolkit) provides a software library that makes it easier to program motion planning, simulation, robotics, and virtual reality codes. Originally designed specifically to support the Configuration Space abstraction, the CSTK enables the user to specially create representations of movable and stationary rigid 3D geometric objects; it also performs fast-distance interference (clash) detection, collision detection, closest-feature pairs, and contact queries in terms of object configuration. Not only can queries be computed at any given point in configuration space, but they can be done exactly over linear-translational path segments and approximately for rotational path segments. (See “Implicit Convex-Hull Distance of Finite-Screw-Swept Volumes” from the 2002 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation.) The CSTK is included with Umbra distributions.







SCREAMTM (Sandia Cognitive Runtime Engine with Active MemoryTM)

SCREAM: Conceptual Architecture

TRL 2-5 (as cognitive science)
TRL 3-6 (as AI software with cognitive modeling capability)

As part of Sandia’s cognitive research program and Umbra’s focus on behavior, the Sandia Cognitive Runtime Engine with Active Memory (SCREAM) implements components of a psychologically based conceptual cognitive architecture. It can be used for adversary and expert models in analysis tools, human behaviors with emotions in simulation-based applications, cognitive robotics, and emotional Non-Player-Characters (NPC) in game-based training and games. SCREAM is coded in the Umbra architecture. See SAND2006-7812.
SCREAM can be used with Sandia Human Embodiment and Representation Cognitive Architecture (SHERCA). SHERCA is designed to be a general tool for the plausible representation of human thought and behavior. An important feature of the architecture is its primary emphasis on psychological and sociological realism. It consists of a human-representative computational model through which a cognitive character “recognizes” patterns of stimuli in the environment and responds to those stimuli according to current contexts, goals, and emotions.


Operations InsightTM (OpInsightTM)

OpInsight System Integration

OpInsight Control Systems

Umbra is highly suited to 3D dynamic visualization, which allows analysts to understand operational relevance and detect patterns in behavior displayed at rates faster, slower, or equal to real time. Because Umbra has Live-Virtual-Constructive capability, visualizations can be imported from recorded or live data feeds and may be merged back into live activity. Visualized metaphors within Umbra can be treated as objects and acted upon to further analysis. Visualizations composed within Umbra are easily available to all other Umbra applications.
As an example, analysis and visualization of dynamic physical-cyber operations have been difficult to achieve. As one solution, Sandia has used its flexible Umbra environment, which allows modeling and simulation of physical, cyber, and human cognitive elements into the OpInsight tool, a flexible dynamic interaction event visualizer. OpInsight can display network TCP/IP traffic occurring between vehicles in a mobile ad-hoc network. Hosts were represented by red orbs. Transmitted network packets were represented by yellow lines and blue lines for reception, each touching a TCP port plane suspended above the physical simulation. This display was detached and suspended above the physical simulation of vehicles, roads, and facilities. Through this visualization, it was evident that patterns identified node function. A simulation control commanded all orbs to descend to their respective vehicles. This binding showed which vehicle held the uplink function, while temporarily losing visualization of traffic volume and send-receive ratio available in the detached co-visualization. See the movie about this interaction, which also shows a conceptual denial of service (DOS) attack.









Sandia has developed a Java-based Umbra core that can be used for modeling and simulation in the Umbra Framework. This capability has not been extended by porting all existing modules and Umbra simulation products. This effort was initiated to integrate Umbra with the OneSAF simulation system.

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