You are here

Ocean Sensor Interface Simulation for Integration Testing


OBJECTIVE: The objective is to develop methods to simulate physical sensor interfaces for naval combat and acoustic systems to enable robust testing during developmental integration efforts. DESCRIPTION: The Navy lacks the ability to include physical sensor interface simulation (e.g., interface to an acoustic array) in the development of Naval weapon systems (Ref. 1). This inhibits the Navy"s ability to ensure tactical capabilities of the systems are fault tolerant when they reach deployment. A technology that enables the Navy to simulate the physical sensor interfaces would permit system testers to mimic the actual tactical use of the system. This would expose latent design defects early in the development cycle, allowing testers to employ stress and casualty mode scenarios in their test plans. Defects indentified within these test scenarios could be addressed by a tester in a controlled environment suitable for defect resolution, instead of in the field by a war fighter attempting to complete a mission. Mission capability will be improved by the deployment of a more mature and robust system and reduce system development costs. Initial target for this technology would be information systems for the Maritime Surveillance Systems Integrated Common Processor (MSSICP) program and the AN/SQQ-89 Undersea Warfare (USW) Anti-submarine Warfare (ASW) System program. The MSSICP assists operators in localizing and tracking possible surface and subsurface threats. The AN/SQQ-89(V) is comprised of subsystems, each of which supports the overall system mission by providing different capabilities supporting USW Search, Detection, Classification, and Localization, and Fire Control and Torpedo Alert and Engagement Current practice in these programs is to wait until installation at the site of the sensor to conduct regression testing. This practice introduces unnecessary risk and cost because it is the first time the processing system is tested with the refreshed sensor interface. Any issues that arise at this point are costly because the system has progressed through the development stage. The new technology will identify and address problems early in the development cycle where the resolution costs are lower (Ref. 2, 3). Innovative concepts, products, methods, or techniques are needed to develop a simulation with sufficient sensor interface fidelity to remove or reduce the previously cited costs and risks. The developed simulation method should use actual array specifications augmented with other features to ensure comprehensive test coverage. The simulation will exercise standard interface protocols such as up-link, down-link, and health status. They will also include all current acoustic and non-acoustic sensors and associated sonar telemetry pertinent to the Maritime Surveillance Systems ICP and the AN/SQQ-89 Undersea Warfare Anti-Submarine Warfare System programs. Basic target capabilities, including calibrated noise, are desired in the developed simulation. Electrical load simulation will also be included to verify power supply capacity and fidelity. Augmenting the simulation of acoustic and non-acoustic sensors used for Anti-Submarine Warfare with common acoustic and non-acoustic failure modes will allow the response of the downstream processing components to be stress tested much earlier in the system life cycle. The Phase I effort does not require access to classified information. Unclassified complex level data will be provided to support Phase I work. The Phase II effort will likely require secure access, and the contractor will need to be prepared for personnel and facility certifications for handling classified data. PHASE I: The Company will develop concepts for a Physical ASW Sensor Interface Simulation that meet the requirements described above. The company will demonstrate the feasibility of the concepts in meeting Navy needs and will establish that the concepts can be feasibly developed into a useful product for the Navy. Feasibility will be established by concept testing and analytical modeling. The small business will provide a Phase II development plan with performance goals and key technical milestones, and that will address technical risk reduction. PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I and the Phase II development plan, the small business will develop a prototype simulation of a towed array and acoustic source for evaluation as appropriate. The prototype will be evaluated to determine its capability in meeting the performance goals identified in the Phase II development plan. System performance will be demonstrated through prototype evaluation, modeling, or analysis over the required range of parameters including numerous deployment cycles. Evaluation results will be used to refine the prototype into an initial design that will meet Navy requirements. The company will prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology to Navy use. PHASE III: If Phase II is successful, the company will be expected to support the Navy in transitioning the technology for Navy use. The company will develop a Physical Sensor Interface Simulation for evaluation to determine its effectiveness in an operationally relevant environment. The company will support the Navy for test and validation to certify and qualify the system for Navy use. PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: The oil and natural gas exploration industries have environments that are difficult to access and gather data in. The ability to test processing systems with robust simulations of the interfaces and physical data messages passed by sensors would reduce risk and cost. Accessing the environment to deploy sensors and subsequently collect sensor derived information can be costly even before taking into account the risk that data cannot be collected because the processing system fails to operate correctly with sensors measuring physical attributes of the ocean environment. REFERENCES: 1. Jensen, Finn B; Kuperman, William A.; Porter, Michael B; Schmidt, Henrik Computational Ocean Acoustics, Second Edition. Springer, N.Y.: Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, 2011. 2. Biffl, Stefan; Aurum, Aybke; Boehm, Barry; Erdogmus, Hakan; Grnbacher, Paul (Eds.), Value-Based Software Engineering. Berlin, Germany : Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg , 2006 3. Boehm, Barry; Abts, Chris; Brown, A. Winsor; Chulani, Sunita; Clark, Bradford K.; Horowitz, Ellis ; Madachy, Ray ; Reifer, Donald J.; Steece, Bert ; Software Cost Estimation with COCOMO II.Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2009.
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government