Threat Suitability Tactical Decision Aid for Anti-Submarine Warfare
Navy SBIR 2015.1 - Topic N151-054
NAVSEA - Mr. Dean Putnam - [email protected]
Opens: January 15, 2015 - Closes: February 25, 2015 6:00am ET

N151-054 TITLE: Threat Suitability Tactical Decision Aid for Anti-Submarine Warfare

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PEO IWS 5, Undersea Warfare Systems

OBJECTIVE: Develop an innovative tactical decision aid (TDA) for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) threat operations that evaluates the geospatial suitability requirements of an area of interest.

DESCRIPTION: The amount of information available to accomplish the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) mission has been increasing significantly in the last 10 years, and there is a broad spectrum of information available for analysis to help in solving the ASW problem. When an ASW threat executes a mission against U.S. Navy forces, the opposing force (OPFOR) commander must consider the environment, tactical situation, ownship capabilities and mission objectives to develop a course of action. This process will involve trade-offs where one factor, such as required proximity to a high value target, is offset by another factor such as increased detection vulnerability.

The technology to explore and evaluate these types of trade-offs has been developed for wide ranging applications, to include location recommendation systems for business sites [ref 1], evaluation of animal habits [ref 2], and urban land use planning [ref 4]. Perhaps the most relevant to ASW application is to identify potential crime areas [ref 3] based on suitability for criminal intent. These technologies represent the state-of-the-art in geospatial suitability analysis. The basis of this project is to use whatever information technology is used today for predicting events � such as in high crime areas (among others) by melding historical and in situ data. We seek to adapt them and develop innovative new technologies applicable to ASW.

By understanding how information affects OPFOR mission planning trade-off and by developing possible OPFOR courses of action (often termed red teaming), insights in to the geospatial suitability for OPFOR operations can be developed in order to provide enhanced situational awareness and more effective ASW mission planning. For example, this technology could provide the understanding of what corridors are suitable for a covert transit, or determine where high speeds can be maintained for expedient transits, and determine a good location to pump waste. U.S. Navy ASW personnel have gained the ability to assess potential threat trade-offs through years of experience. Their expertise will be used to define trade-offs in the TDA and to assist the operators by providing rapid and comprehensive initial assessment of possible threat locations, enabling the operator to reduce the time to develop mission plans and maintain a higher level of situational awareness.

The desired TDA technologies will provide knowledge representations, geospatial models, and reasoning algorithms that capture this experience and apply it to the current tactical picture in order to understand the suitability of threat operations occurring across an area of interest. The TDA is required to operate with current tactical, environmental and operational data sources, and provide results in a concise format within the ASW mission systems. The small businesses will need to establish a baseline of current performance in particular scenarios provided by the Government to be used for comparison purposes. This understanding will provide ASW commanders with a sound expectation of where OPFOR assets may be operating, enhancing their ability to locate and counter those threats.

PHASE I: The company will define and develop a concept for an innovative Tactical Decision Aid that meets the requirements stated in the topic description. The company will demonstrate the feasibility of the concept in meeting Navy needs and will establish that the concept can be developed into a useful product for the Navy. Testing and analytical modeling will establish feasibility based upon performance in particular scenarios.

PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I, the company will develop a Tactical Decision Aid prototype for evaluation. The prototype will be evaluated to determine its capability in meeting the performance goals and Navy requirements for an innovative Tactical Decision Aid. System performance will be demonstrated through prototype evaluation and modeling or analytical methods over the required range of parameters. 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: The company will support the Navy in transitioning the technology for Navy use. The company will develop an innovative Tactical Decision Aid according to the Phase III development plan 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 resulting enhanced suitability analysis capability is widely applicable in commercial applications. The concept of suitability analysis has been widely used in other fields, including urban land use impact and planning, retail site selection, crime prevention, and agriculture site or crop recommendation. This technology would be most applicable for counter terrorism to predict likely targets or training areas and for criminal interdiction predicting high crime areas, smuggling routes or emerging criminal activities.

1. Pearson, J.; A Comparative Business Site-Location Feasibility Analysis using Geographic Information Systems and the Gravity Model, 2007, Volume 9, Papers in Resource Analysis. 10 pp. Retrieved from:

2. Sotre, R.; Jokimaki, J.; A GIS-based multi-scale approach to habitat suitability modeling, Elsevier, Ecological Modeling 165 (2003)1-15. Retrieved from:

3. Shamauddin, N. H. M.; bin Selamat, H.; bin Othman, M. S.; Identification of Potential Crime Area Using Analytical Hierachy Process (AHP) and Geographical Information System (GIS); IJIC Vol.1, No.1 (2012). Retrieved from:

4. Malczewski, J.; GIS-Based Land-Use Suitability Analysis: A Critical Overview; Progress in Planning 62 (2004) 3�65, Elsevier. Retrieved from:

KEYWORDS: Global information system; threat suitability evaluation; geospatial modeling; multi-criteria decision making; ASW; ASW threat analysis

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