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Mission Planning Application for Submarine Operations and Risk Management


OBJECTIVE: Develop mission planning decision aids (including displays) that integrate disparate submarine system data and make risk based recommendations on courses of action for the Commanding Officer. DESCRIPTION: Submarines conduct operational missions in a complex environment based on tasking from operational commanders. While many missions are similar, each mission is unique in that environmental changes, political factors, crew capabilities, allied forces, adversarial forces, and commercial activities vary with each mission. At its heart, mission planning is a sequence of decisions and tasks that appropriately balance risk against gain. Understanding operational risk is critical, and managing risk is necessary to affect predictable outcomes. Submarine crews are operationally tasked with text messages and then they develop operational plans using a group of tools that do not integrate needed inputs. Plans today must be memorized from content kept in binders, or integrated mentally from a variety of displays and media. These currently include many manual processes, PowerPoint charts, overlay functions in the Combat Control System, charting in the Voyage Management System, operational structure in guidance from the operational commander, and ship and crew status such as equipment conditions and watch qualifications and experience. (See Ref. 1.) The Navy seeks a suite of task-centered, intuitive and easy to operate mission planning software tools to assist the submarine Command Team in planning and assessing alternatives for an operational timeline that span time periods from weeks in the past, to weeks into the future. Such a tool would allow alternative voyage tracks, changes in the ships posture and the conduct of specific activities in the execution of operational objectives. The output of the planning function will support briefing the team on duty in the control room as well as the submarine Command Team in a space other than the control room. The planning tool will support a"Plan-Brief-Execute-Assess"methodology that is used by submarine operators to prepare operational and combat missions at sea. The tool will also be developed to support a format that can be shared and displayed off the submarine. The Mission Assessment function should be designed so the Commanding Officer, Command Duty Officer and Officer of the Deck can monitor a plan"s real-time execution and highlight deviations that may require command attention. (See Refs. 2, 3, 4.) There are currently several incarnations of software tools in the areas of maritime voyage planning, ground war campaign planning, statistical decision-making, map-based products, and advanced database techniques, which all factor into the planning tool that is envisioned. There are a great number of applications and user considerations that must integrated into the design of the tool. Of critical importance to this project, however, is the research leading to the development and effectiveness of specific, relevant and well-designed human system interfaces (HSI) that will seamlessly support the complexity of submarine operations. (See Ref. 5.) A user-centered spiral approach that includes regularly scheduled usability testing will be employed in the development of the mission planning tool. Impacts to the associated costs of training, maintenance and reliability will also be considered. The Phase I effort will not require access to classified information. If need be, data of the same level of complexity as secured 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 certification for secure access. PHASE I: The company will develop concepts for an improved Mission Planning System 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 evaluation against the stated requirements. 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 scaled prototype for evaluation as appropriate. The prototype will be evaluated to determine its capability in meeting the performance goals defined in Phase II development plan and the Navy requirements for the Mission Planning System. System performance will be demonstrated through prototype evaluation in the Command and Control Center (CACC) Alternatives Study and Experimentation (CASEX) lab in Newport, RI. 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 Mission Planning System for evaluation to determine its effectiveness in BYG-1 Submarine Combat Control System, submarine operational staffs and training centers. 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: Commercial applications for mission planning applications range from complex logistics companies, disaster response by federal, state, and local government agencies, utility companies, and farming. Health-care in particular is a potentially fruitful area where surgical and diagnostic processes could be normalized, shared, optimized, and made transparent. The ability to monitor performance by comparing executed missions to planned missions would support the trend toward accountable care and accountable organizations. REFERENCES: 1. Kranz, J, Wein, R & Marquet, L."Real To Virtual To Real The Powerful Shadow."Presented at Undersea Human Systems Integration Symposium, Providence RI, 2010. 2. Maarten S., Bradshaw, J.M., Acquisti, A., Hoof, R., Jeffers, R., Uszok, A."Human-Agent Teamwork and Adjustable Autonomy in Practice."Proceedings of The 7th International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space (i-SAIRAS), Nara, Japan, 2003. 3. Salas, E., Rosen, M.A., Burke, C.S., Nicholson, D., and Howse, W.R."Markers For Enhancing Team Cognition In Complex Environments: The Power Of Team Performance Diagnosis."Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, 78, 77-85, 2007. 4. Kozlowski S.W.J., and Ilgen, D.R."Enhancing The Effectiveness Of Work Groups And Teams."Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 7, 77-124, 2006. 5. Wreathall, J."Properties of Resilient Organizations: An Initial View,"in Resilience EngineeringConcepts and Precepts (E. Hollnagel, D.D. Woods, and N. G. Leveson, eds.) Ashgate Press, 2006.
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