Submarine Combat Systems Advanced Processor Build (APB) Operations Learning Environment
Navy SBIR 2014.1 - Topic N141-027
NAVSEA - Mr. Dean Putnam - [email protected]
Opens: Dec 20, 2013 - Closes: Jan 22, 2014

N141-027 TITLE: Submarine Combat Systems Advanced Processor Build (APB) Operations Learning Environment

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PMS401, Submarine Acoustic Systems Program Office.

RESTRICTION ON PERFORMANCE BY FOREIGN CITIZENS (i.e., those holding non-U.S. Passports): This topic is "ITAR Restricted". The information and materials provided pursuant to or resulting from this topic are restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120 - 130, which control the export of defense-related material and services, including the export of sensitive technical data. Foreign Citizens may perform work under an award resulting from this topic only if they hold the "Permanent Resident Card", or are designated as "Protected Individuals" as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). If a proposal for this topic contains participation by a foreign citizen who is not in one of the above two categories, the proposal will be rejected.

OBJECTIVE: The objective is to develop a learning environment for Submarine Combat Systems that facilitates rapid, dynamic, and timely learning on modernized Advanced Processor Build (software) Operations.

DESCRIPTION: The introduction of Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) components to Submarine Combat Systems has increased the pace of systems and tactical software upgrades. Navy need dictates that submarine crews require shore-based training on combat systems operations either before or during their platform upgrade. The current training system uses adapted tactical software and tactical system recordings to replicate combat systems independently in a classroom local area network environment. While the use of actual tactical software results in higher fidelity and efficiency in operations, training without a full Combat Systems Trainer can result in limitations which include lack of full functionality, interactivity, scenario control and integration. The trainer, which includes hardware and software at multiple sites, is becoming less relevant to fleet configurations because it is cumbersome, costly, and difficult to synchronize with the Advanced Processor Build/Technical Insertion APB/TI schedule. Additionally, a current requirement calls for combat systems to be integrated (aka federated) to train common displays, much like Rathnam describes in Figure 1.2: Vision for an Ontology-Based Framework to Support Automated Simulation Integration (ref 1).

Innovative technologies are required to ensure enhanced learning of Submarine Combat Systems operations because current technologies cannot emulate the tactical system within the necessary timeline and with required fidelity. Promising approaches may include innovations in technology such as High Definition, 3D, immersive technology, virtual realities, and others. Investigate the advantages of instructional characteristics and motivational features of PC-based games. The company should conceptualize innovative or creative approaches to learning delivery, methods, and environments. The company should research learning delivery techniques described by Nicholson, (ref 2) including portability and configurations for a wide range of training skill levels (journeyman to master), embedded/automated instructional capability, and trainee operation/familiarization prior to training opportunity. Innovative designs should be flexible to minimize the impact of changes and additions to the overall simulation capability. Key features for the proposed learning environments are flexibility, scalability, and rapid modernization consistent with the Advanced Processor Build/Technical Insertion APB/TI process at multiple geographic sites. The learning environment would be scalable to allow for future integration of additional submarine warfare federated tactical subsystems training solutions. A successful learning environment will have a clearly defined path for Participating Managers (PARMs) to integrate their subsystem training solutions and has sufficient portability and.

Upon transition of the Submarine Combat Systems Advanced Processor Build (APB) Operations Learning Environment to the Navy, benefits to the Fleet/Program include: the Modernization Training Teams (MTT) will be able to meet the fleet operator and employment training requirements of the new capabilities provided by the APB process; responsive operations and employment training conducted by MTT will continue to improve fleet readiness; MTT will have improved capabilities to train the crew simultaneously, utilizing common displays; MTT will be able to train basic operations, employment, communications team skills utilizing a Sonar to Combat Control interface; training will not have to be performed onboard the modernized platform displacing other training requirements, impacting system installation and shipboard schedules, and further compressing training time due to dependence on a stable and available system; training will not have to be performed onboard, eliminating high attendance risk as sailors are directed to perform other duties or respond to emergencies during allocated training time; elimination of significant risk that training on a tactical system could be discontinued due to a system casualty. The Submarine Combat Systems Advanced Processor Build Operations Learning Environment will ensure the fleet will be able to employ and maintain tactical submarine combat systems and maintain readiness.

PHASE I: The company will develop concepts for Submarine Combat Systems Advanced Processor Build (APB) Operations Learning Environment that meet the requirements described above. The company will demonstrate the concepts in meeting Navy needs and will establish that the concepts can be feasibly developed into a tactical training simulator/stimulator that supports multiple skill objectives and levels for the Navy. Design confidence and feasibility will be established by material testing and analytical modeling. The company will provide a Phase II development plan with performance goals and key technical milestones, and that addresses technical risk reduction.

PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I and the Phase II development plan, the company 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 Submarine Combat Systems Advanced Processor Build (APB) Operations Learning Environment. System performance will be demonstrated through prototype evaluation and modeling or analytical methods 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 Submarine Combat Systems Advanced Processor Build (APB) Operations Learning Environment 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: Modeling and simulation of federated combat systems can be used in many commercial maritime environments: for example, enhanced radar, navigation, and ship handling operator training.

1. Rathnam, "Using Ontologies to Support Interoperability in Federated Simulation." Georgia Institute of Technology 2004. Retrieved 16 January, 2012 from <<>

2. Nicholson, Ingurgio, and Bartlett. "Perceptual Training Systems and Tools (PercepTS): Next Steps in the Transition to TECOM." Human System Integration Symposium (HSIS) 2011. <<>

KEYWORDS: Training simulation; game design; immersive learning technology; perceptual training systems; tactical emulation; virtual learning environment

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