Written by Dr. Victoria L. Claypoole
You may have heard this name floating around on the ~ interwebs ~ - LinkedIn, magazine articles, tradeshows like I/ITSEC, etc. It just seems to be everywhere! So much so, you may be thinking, “what the heck is this MOTAR thing?!?”
Not to worry! This article will dive into what exactly MOTAR is, who MOTAR is made for, MOTAR ATO, and more!
MOTAR – What Is It?
The first thing you need to know about MOTAR is that it is, of course, an acronym. MOTAR stands for: Member. Operations. Training. Analytics. Reports. In this vein, MOTAR provides features and services for each of these core areas of warfighter readiness (but we’ll get into that later).
The second thing you need to know about MOTAR is that it is actually a United States Air Force (USAF) white label of Dynepic’s DX Platform. The DX Platform has been around since 2014 – so this isn’t exactly a new technology. We’ve been developing the backbone infrastructure for quite a few years – which is a huge reason the MOTAR white label has been so successful.
MOTAR was spun off after winning the AFWERX Mixed Reality Platform Challenge in January of 2019. Since then, a variety of contract wins, including multiple Phase I and II SBIRs, a multi-year Phase III, and two more AFWERX Challenge wins have supported the development of additional capability across the MOTAR platform and onboarding of multiple vendor technologies, specifically to meet the needs of the USAF. MOTAR was recently named as an official Air Education and Training Command (AETC) requirement to “...deliver, analyze and report all training...”, which you can read about here:
Now, let’s get into the meat of it.
MOTAR is a “Platform of Platforms”, an enterprise commercial-off-the-shelf, dual-use technology that facilitates a common training ecosystem with a modular, open systems approach (MOSA) and a zero-trust architecture.
Whew! That’s a lot of buzzwords! Don’t worry we’re going to break it all down!
Platform of Platforms. What we mean by this, is that MOTAR can host or link to other platforms via our robust APIs and SDKs. If you have your own platform for Augmented Reality (AR) self-authoring tools – no problem! You can integrate it to MOTAR! In fact, we host or link to several individual third-party platforms on MOTAR today. Companies like HTX Labs, Eon Reality, BUNDLAR, and more have all made their platforms available via MOTAR.
Enterprise Commercial-Off-The-Shelf, Dual-Use Technology. We’ve already touched on this, but let’s reiterate. MOTAR is a white label of our commercial DX Platform. It’s been built to scale enterprise wide. While MOTAR is solely focused on DoD training and operations, the DX Platform is a bit more varied than that. DX can host training and coaching applications that support users of all ages – even children! The DX platform won multiple awards and is independently privacy-certified by the FTC’s leading privacy safe-harbor, Entertainment Software Review Board (ESRB).
Facilitates a Common Training Ecosystem. MOTAR ensures that warfighters have a one-stop shop for the delivery and distribution of their immersive training. Through MOTAR, course managers and instructors have a common training data hub where they can search for immersive content, build their courses, and deliver training. And the best part is – even though that training may be made up of 20+ individual vendor technologies, there is only one login and one training record. All of that adds up to a common training ecosystem! No more logging in to six different applications and hand-jamming the performance data into an excel sheet!
Modular, Open Systems Approach (MOSA) and a Zero-Trust Architecture. MOTAR is built to meet the US Law on MOSA: “A major defense acquisition program that receives Milestone A or Milestone B approval after January 1, 2019, shall be designed and developed, to the maximum extent practicable, with a modular open system approach to enable incremental development and enhance competition, innovation, and interoperability. Other defense acquisition programs shall also be designed and developed, to the maximum extent practicable, with a modular open system approach to enable incremental development and enhance competition, innovation, and interoperability.” - source
MOTAR was designed as a privacy-secure framework with a “zero-data” architecture for ecosystem applications to connect in a MOSA all while keeping children’s personally identifiable data secure. Dynepic’s zero-data approach aligns well with Zero Trust (ZT)! What is ZT? “Zero trust assumes there is no implicit trust granted to assets or user accounts based solely on their physical or network location (i.e., local area networks versus the internet) or based on asset ownership (enterprise or personally owned).” - SP 800-207, Zero Trust Architecture
Most importantly, MOTAR brings together the best training technologies [Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), etc.] in a secure device- and vendor-agnostic ecosystem to provide seamless access to multi-vendor content and power training with a single, CAC-enabled login and a consolidated learning dashboard. MOTAR is a full-service, XR-optimized Learning Content Management System (LCMS)! Dynepic does not develop content - we are solely focused on building out the platform infrastructure and shared services for the DoD and our ecosystem of vendors.
Who Is MOTAR Made For?
MOTAR is for Course Creators, Course Instructors, Instructional Designers, Students, Unit Training Managers, Subject Matter Experts, Commanders, Leadership, XR Creators, AI Companies, 3D Model Makers, App Developers, Training Designers and Developers, Analytic Companies, Unity Developers, Content Creators (government and third-party vendors) and so many more…MOTAR has features and services that support many user types.
MOTAR is currently supporting airmen from across the USAF Major Commands (MAJCOMS). So, if you’re an airman, and you want your own MOTAR account, reach out here: firstname.lastname@example.org or simply visit https://www.motar.io and use your CAC to login (see: https://docs.motar.io/register-for-a-motar-account)!
While MOTAR is heavily focused on supporting USAF, it was designed to operate in a joint environment. So, MOTAR is really for any DoD organization that needs to host, distribute, and deliver immersive training. Dynepic is actively discussing MOTAR with the Navy, Army, US Marine Corps, Defense Health Agency, US Space Force, VA and others!
MOTAR was also made for third-party vendors. MOTAR provides all the backend infrastructure and connective tissue (or glue, whatever analogy resonates most with you) for immersive training with the DoD. So, vendors can focus on all the things that they do really, really well – like developing training and AI – and we focus on all the non-sexy (some may even say boring…not us, but some!), backend common services like: authentication, central hub, dashboards, and cloud security. It’s really a win/win! We are not competitive with our ecosystem, and our ecosystem can be laser focused on their special sauce. Because who really wants to spend time and money redeveloping user management…
Are People Really Using This MOTAR Thing?
Yes! Dynepic is on tap to scale to over 500,000 USAF members and vendor users in the coming years.
Third-party vendors are quickly activating onto the platform. MOTAR features AR / VR training applications, AI agents, sensor technologies, peripherals (haptics), self-authoring content tools, 3D models, and more from over 35 vendors – small businesses and large primes. If your favorite vendor technology isn’t already activated on MOTAR send them here: Info@Dyenpic.com – we offer a free three-month demo license for all qualified vendors.
USAF users and vendors are all using MOTAR due to its robust flexibility! MOTAR was built to be hardware and software-agnostic – meaning everyone can play! Outside vendor technology can quickly be integrated with our open APIs to deliver new innovations, link to existing DoD systems and databases, and completely future proof training programs. We’ve had new vendors get activated and hosted, full “hello world”, in less than 10 minutes. Activating on MOTAR really is super simple!
Does MOTAR Have an ATO?
The short answer is, not yet – MOTAR has been going through the ATO process for quite some time and we expect to have an ATO by mid-2022 (so, hopefully soon!).
Within our ATO structure, we are planning to support multiple levels of classification:
- MOTAR Staging for pilot activation and innovation
- MOTAR Live for up to IL4 / NIPR
- MOTAR Red for IL6 / SIPR & JWICS (Expected 2023)
- MOTAR-in-a-box for standalone, secret squirrel (Expected 2023)
You may be also wondering what MOTAR’s ATO may mean for any activated third-party vendors. Well, we have some good news on that front.
MOTAR is currently standing-up a fully certified CI/CD pipeline and approval process wherein third-party vendors can develop and deploy their content through MOTAR’s APIs, ultimately being able to leverage the MOTAR security scanning tools to achieve a certificate to field under the MOTAR ATO.
The goal is that MOTAR will provide inheritable cyber controls to hosted applications to greatly reduce ATO timelines. Applications developed with just the MOTAR API’s and hosting should fall under the MOTAR ATO boundary as “content” allowing them rapid deployment to MOTAR Live for use on NIPR. Applications can leverage the AFLCMC funded Cyber Security Assessment Readiness (CSAR) tool being integrated to MOTAR Studio for rapid Risk Management Framework (RMF) evaluation and leverage a cyber playbook to accelerate the ATO process.
So, MOTAR’s DevSecOps pipeline combined with the application approval process will reduce the time needed to deploy simulations, digital twin, 3D models and training content through MOTAR, greatly reducing ATO timelines. Can you say #LevelingUp?
MOTAR has a ton of core features and services for the development, hosting, and distribution of training applications – like Studio, Hub, and Training. In upcoming articles, we will take a deep dive into each of these features and services!
In the meantime, if you want to learn more about MOTAR, check out: