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Electronic Warfare System Alert Monitoring, Prioritization, and Display

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-22-C-0436
Agency Tracking Number: N211-050-1958
Amount: $1,199,972.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N211-050
Solicitation Number: 21.1
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-07-20
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-08-10
Small Business Information
9180 Brown Deer Road
San Diego, CA 92121-2238
United States
DUNS: 131182388
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Cory Rieth
 (858) 535-1661
Business Contact
 Ronald Moore
Phone: (858) 535-1661
Research Institution

United States Navy Electronic Warfare personnel who stand watch in surface ship combat information centers are critical for ensuring the Fleet’s safety, situation awareness, and mission effectiveness. Over long watches and across widely varying operational contexts, Electronic Warfare watchstanders must monitor sensor information provided by several systems to rapidly detect and report important threats. However, Electronic Warfare operators are increasingly flooded with information, including alert messages on a wide variety of topics, such as system status, system faults, situation reports, and target status. This requires watchstanders to allocate limited attention across a wide array of displays while analyzing sensor observations and reporting key events. Staying on top of these frequent alerts can cause operator error, fatigue, distraction from important duties, missed messages, and impaired situation awareness. Appropriately presenting alerts in the Electronic Warfare operator’s human-machine interface is a balancing act between necessary notification and unwanted distraction. An effective alerting scheme is needed to help watchstanders identify new sensor information across signal sources and focus on possible threats amongst those signals. However, every additional system adds its own alerting schema to which watchstanders must attend, analyze, and report. Given the rapidly proliferating number of these systems, watchstanders are being increasingly challenged to respond in an appropriate and timely manner to the alerts associated with each of those inconsistent systems. This situation can result in watchstanders incorrectly prioritizing their effort, confusion from inconsistent presentation, inefficient task workarounds, and the need for additional training on each system’s alerting scheme. Thus, alerting systems that may have once been viable are now being pushed past their breaking point. To be successful in a complex environment, alerting systems need a careful application of human factors with a focus on human perception and cognition. This project will research, design, implement a prototype of, and document an alerting system to meet the needs of Electronic Warfare Operators. Sophisticated alert presentation and monitoring is critical for Electronic Warfare systems, and it is equally critical for related systems and display consoles, as well. Applying consistent methods for alert monitoring, prioritization, and presentation will make the entire suite of Electronic Warfare systems easier to use, manage, and train.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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