This research is supported by the Defense Modeling Simulation Office (DMSO) and the National Imagery and Mapping Agency's (NIMA) Terrain Modeling Program Office (TMPO). The research is being performed in collaboration with the Digital Mapping, Charting, and Geodesy Analysis Program (DMAP) at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Stennis Space Center, Mississippi.

The on-going research involves investigating an extension to NIMA's current Vector Product Format (VPF) that would benefit the Modeling and Simulation (M&S) community. In its current form, VPF's Winged-Edge topology is documented as not being capable of modeling a wide range of three dimensional objects that may be transmitted and received through the Synthetic Environment Data Representation and Interchange Specification (SEDRIS). This range of objects includes non-manifold objects found in integrated three dimensional synthetic environments. DMAP therefore proposes VPF+, an extension to VPF that provides for georelational modeling in 3D and that is SEDRIS capable. VPF+ adds a new level of topology called Level 4 Full 3D Topology (Level 4). The topologic information encompasses the adjacencies involved in 3D manifold and non-manifold objects, and is described using a new, extended Winged-Edge data structure. This data structure is referred to as "Non-Manifold 3D Winged-Edge Topology".

The Non-Manifold 3D Winged-Edge Topology is being prototyped in a Web-Based virtual reality application. The prototype data consists of Military Operation in Urban Terrain (MOUT) data for Camp LeJeune, North Carolina. The application is expected to be ideal for training and simulation exercises as well as actual field operations requiring on-site assistance in urban areas.

VPF+ was used in an exercise known as CPE (Culminating Phase Experiment) by the U.S. Marine Corps at Camp LeJeune, South Carolina in September 1998. Two VPF+ data sets were prepared. One was for the Camp LeJeune Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) Facility. This data was used to provide an interactive 3D display of buildings, roads, and other features normally found in an urban setting such as trees, park benches, flag poles, etc. In particular, the user was allowed to navigate through the MOUT facility and also into and through buildings. The VPF+ second data set was for a building known as The Citadel, and was used to provide an interactive 3D display of the building's interior and exterior. With the help of this data the user was able to navigate through each of the floors and interior rooms of the building. The data was used by the Marines in aid of an exercise in which the building was cleared.

Additional VPF+ data is being prepared for use by the Marines in an Advanced Warfighters Exercise (AWE) in San Francisco, California in January 1999. This data will provide for 3D rendering of various urban buildings to assist in an invade and clear exercise.