Testing environment for military study, demonstration, and research purposes

NLR provides a battle lab capability by integrating high fidelity platform simulators with additional proof of concept demonstrators and extension to other battle labs. Cerebro can ultimately also be coupled with live systems when connected to e.g. a Link-16, DIS or HLA gateway.

Cerebro can be used for both small and larger projects that require multiple simulators to work in an integrated environment. The extensive use of platform simulators and computer generated forces will reduce the costs while enabling testing of new functionalities concepts in a safe and classified environment.

Broad range of research and testing applications

Technical specifications – simulation set-up

The steps for concept development in Cerebro are cyclical, as is usual in CD&E and DT&E processes. Before starting development, relevant background information is collected, experiment questions are formulated and ultimately conclusions are drawn and a report is written.

Battle lab based on virtualisation

The Cerebro infrastructure is fully based on a virtualisation solution, enabling rapid configuration and deployment of exercises with various tools, services, and simulators:

  • Quick configuration of simulation tooling and scenarios
  • Rapid deployment of simulation exercises to end-users
  • Core services readily integrated, i.e. terrain databases, scenarios, chat, simulation backbone
  • Promotes quick and agile development of simulation experiments

Interoperation with other NLR research and simulation facilities

Cerebro has the capability to flexibly interoperate with other NLR research simulation facilities, including mission support systems and Computer Generated Forces (CGF).

These research and simulation facilities are:

NLR's Helicopter Pilot Station

HPS – Helicopter Pilot Station

HPS is a helicopter simulator which is used primarily for research purposes. It has been developed with particular emphasis on handling qualities and human factors research. The flexible model environment and its level of sophistication allow detailed pilot-in-the-loop stability and control analyses for complex tasks such as tactical maneuvering, external load operations or ship deck landings.


MUST – Multi-UAV Supervision Testbed

MUST is a Multi-UAV Supervision Testbed: a research simulator to study and improve human performance and human-machine interfaces when controlling unmanned aircraft (e.g. drones). Multiple UAVs can be controlled simultaneously, which makes it possible to study relations between crew task load and efficiency. As MUST can be configured into different levels of automation, it is an excellent simulation facility for human-in/on-the-loop research regarding automation and autonomy.

F4S – Fighter 4 ship

F4S consists of multiple simulators that allow four F-16 pilots to operate collaboratively. F4S is not and exact replica of the F-16 cockpit, but for most research questions, these differences are small enough to allow research to be performed. It is important to highlight these differences when performing research with more experienced F-16 pilots to manage expectations.

serious gaming


Softpit is a more portable and simplified version of F4S that can easily be relocated. It can be used for rapid prototyping and testing purposes. Softpit is primarily software-based and works with a HOTAS for the F-16.

VBS – Virtual Battle Space

VBS3 is virtual training environment that combines a massive content library, scenario development tools, and after action review capability that immerses trainees in a high-fidelity, multiplayer virtual environment. It includes a user-friendly application that allows for interoperability with external HLA/DIS networks and host computers that use the CIGI protocol, a robust DIS-enabled voice communications system, and a  extensive mission planning tool.