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Shared Understanding Across Levels of Command

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2005 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Aptima, Inc.
12 Gill Street Suite 1400 Woburn, MA 01801-
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2005
Title: Shared Understanding Across Levels of Command
Agency / Branch: DOD / ARMY
Contract: W74V8H-05-C-0012
Award Amount: $120,000.00


In any mission involving hierarchical levels of command, a key success factor is the clear communication of intent, as well as a common understanding of the ongoing situation, across levels of command. In practice, however, command intent may be distorted as subordinates communicate goals downward, and feedback upward, through the chain of command. To the extent that command intent is misunderstood by subordinates or upward feedback misunderstood by superiors, inconsistencies will exist, possibly leading to misinterpretations, inappropriate actions, and compromised mission effectiveness. The purpose of this Phase I SBIR project is to mitigate these problems both by developing a tool for measuring, and identifying a training approach for optimizing, the extent to which the understanding of intent is shared throughout a hierarchy. We propose an investigative program that links prior findings on shared cognition, situational awareness, and team training with new research on hierarchical goal structures and information sharing, focusing on both current and future battlefield scenarios. Our research uses the Combat Application Team (CAT) methodology, in which a panel of military experts collaborates to provide a holistic examination of shared intent from many perspectives. Complementary studies are aimed at quantifying the construct of "sharedness." Based on this research, a prototype assessment tool will be designed. Phase I will culminate in a demonstration of the feasibility of our approach, utilizing Aptima's Distributed Dynamic Decision-making (DDD) testbed, and thus facilitating Phase II development of a shared awareness tool and intervention program.

Principal Investigator:

Michael Paley
VP, Government Programs

Business Contact:

Margaret J. Clancy
Chief Financial Officer
Small Business Information at Submission:

12 Gill Street, Suite 1400 Woburn, MA 01801

EIN/Tax ID: 043281859
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No