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Human-centric Coalition Space Situational Awareness


OBJECTIVE: Demonstrate a cognitive-centric User-Defined Operational Picture (UDOP) capability that allows multi-national teams to maintain a common understanding of the space situation. DESCRIPTION: This effort will apply cognitive science technology to develop human-system interfaces for a multi-national space operations center with a focus on Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR). This area is critical to space situational awareness (SSA) and a focus area for the Air Force, DARPA, and overall national security. The U.S.-centric Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC) is quickly becoming a multi-national Coalition Space Operations Center (CSpOC). These multinational forces do not always have access to the same information and yet they need a common situational understanding to make informed joint decisions. Differences in cultures, security levels, collaboration preferences, tactical priorities, and information accessibility pose unique cognitive science challenges for human-system interface design. Applying innovative cognitive science solutions to the problem such as work-centered/sensemaking support and visual analytics could positively impact routine operations and dramatically impact operations during contingencies when human-to-human coordination needs to happen quickly. Effective coordination among multi-national forces requires continuous and rapid information sharing, group problem solving, error-checking, and progress monitoring. All of these and possibly other capabilities are needed to support independent and interdependent tasks for plans, operations, intelligence, and communication. These team members will need a decision-centric environment supporting work flows and processes. Additionally, team members separated by security levels and/or geography will need an extension of the UDOP concept for their collaborative work environment where they can generate shared understanding and synchronize collective Command and Control (C2) and ISR activities and missions. Innovative technology is needed to identify and navigate multi-national teams through relevant human-centric issues allowing effective, accurate, and timely collaboration and information sharing. This tool will provide the underpinnings of multi-national force collaboration strategies allowing teams the ability to provide C2 information to Allied Force commanders. A few issues of concern might be: (1) human-computer interface differences, (2) multi-level security, (3) cultural differences, (4) language and terminology, (5) working and learning environment differences and preferences, and (6) command structure differences and preferences. Ultimately what needs to be defined and navigated through is the difference between JSpOC and CSpOC working environments for improved SSA. This effort will confront multi-national issues for the JSpOC Mission System (JMS) before the system, and in particular the UDOP, become too big to incorporate changes. PHASE I: Design a concept for a human-computer interface that supports multi-national space situational awareness with a focus on ISR. Other areas are also performed jointly including Position, Navigation, and Timing (PNT), Satellite Communication, Missile Warning, and Environmental Monitoring but these would be considered above and beyond the scope of this effort. The end product of this phase will include a technical report that outlines the approach for Phase II and the completed system. The concept description will need to address how the technology will integrate with or augment existing capabilities used in space operations centers. PHASE II: Develop, demonstrate and validate the human-system interface software in a relevant environment that closely corresponds to an actual multi-national space operations center. By successfully demonstrating in a relevant environment, the software should obtain a Technology Readiness Level of 5. PHASE III: With the expanding global satellite services industry, multi-national space operations are not unique to the military. This capability will also be valuable to the commercial space industries that need to coordinate operations across multi-national companies. The software will interface with many other space monitoring and information tools, yet maintain a unified look and feel for the user. In addition to the software, the small business could be in a good position to act as a consultant for any enterprise interested in multi-national space operations.
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