Enhanced Visualization for Situational Understanding
AREA(S): Battlespace, Electronics, Sensors
PROGRAM: PEO IWS 1.0, FNC - Operator Planning Tool
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Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be
restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.
Develop an automated three-dimensional (3-D) enemy Courses of Action (COAs)
application that utilizes five dimensional (5-D) representations, variable in
both time and space, for complex missions that provide situational
visualization to achieve greater understanding in real-time.
The Surface Navy currently has no automated, collaborative tools for the
analysis of potential Course of Action (COA) Tactical Decision Aids (TDA).
Surface ships now use a set of disaggregated software decision support aids
that do not support collaboration, have only two-dimensional (2-D)
visualization, and must be aggregated by the operator to be useful. Current
decision support tools are fixed in time, and must replicate calculations and
be combined by operators to assess performance over time. Visual graphical
animations allow trends to be spotted and evaluated more quickly than tabular
or static 2-D presentation formats. Static 2-D representations have proven to
be effective in coordinating unit support and assigning roles, tasks and
actions within the maritime, and air and land mission domains; however, they
are limited in their ability to visually represent multi-unit or multi-domain
temporal coordination. Although many three-dimensional (3-D) situational
visualization representations that provide understanding exist, consensus for
and widespread adoption of 3-D situational visualization have not been
achieved. This often stems from the lack of machine readable data, inaccuracies
in the modeling, and sub-optimal estimates and visualization of the friendly
and enemy COAs. This condition is particularly serious with respect to known
and known but unaccounted-for threats within the Integrated Air and Missile
Defense (IAMD) domain. To address this condition, enhanced situational
visualization to achieve greater understanding is needed. A solution is needed
that will provide a 3D Graphic User Interface (GUI) with a capability to
include moving forward and backward in time and space as added dimensions
(known as 5-D) to the current COA analysis tool under development. This will
enhance capabilities of the developing Battle Management Aid for Surface Navy
planning. Leveraging the foundation of an established COA generation tool with
a 3-D graphic virtualization will deliver a COA representation with the added
dimension of time variability.
One of the key challenges of big data is taking the enormous amounts of
information and turning it into something useful that can be consumed and
ingested by the human brain. Although there are no defined limitations to
hardware and software for use aboard ships, Navy resource sponsors are seeking
to reduce lifecycle costs to support Fleet capability by developing hardware
agnostic software and by employing software standards that facilitate updates
without significant cost. Neuroscientists at the Florida Atlantic University
(FAU) say they have developed a new type of visualization – a five-dimensional
colorimetric model that they say will help them visualize data across space and
time. Some 5-D visualizations are being used in medical and construction
industries. The method, called a five dimensional (5-D) colorimetric technique,
graphs spatiotemporal data (data that includes both space and time), that has
not previously been achieved. Previous to the 5-D colorimetric model
spatiotemporal problems were analyzed either from a spatial perspective (for
instance, a map of gas prices in July 2013), or from a time-based approach
(evolution of gas prices in one county over time), but not simultaneously from
The Navy seeks an automated COA capability that improves situational
understanding through the use of visualization. New approaches are needed with
enhanced visualization methods and present dynamic real-time, temporally
accurate visualizations of friendly and threat capabilities within a region of
interest. Leading edge technologies in medicine and construction design are
beginning to utilize 5-D representations that they say will help them visualize
data across space and time. The technology is not widespread in commercial application,
because not many industries need a time and space dimension to plan. Using 3-D
situational visualization on optimal, multi-domain animated COA estimates will
provide automated predictive COAs and improve data analysis and situational
understanding. Adding the dimension of time, the ability to slide forward and
backward across space and time with 3-D representations, is the added
capability of a 5-D system. This will provide the improved capability for
temporal coordination of tactical performance envelopes that is needed. This
new capability will utilize methods that apply structured data, generate
estimates, and graphically display dynamic temporal opportunities and
vulnerabilities that are relevant within the tactical context. 5-D
representations that spatially and temporally adapt to indicate dynamic
parameters (1st dimension), distributed sensor and weapon coverage areas (2-4th
dimensions), and more importantly, convey an estimate of the reaction or
decision time (5th dimension), are highly desirable for understanding and
addressing multi-domain tactical mission planning. Just as a tactical heads up
display (HUD) overlays critical information on a 3-D view (often of the
tactical area or target) to provide increased situational awareness and a reduction
of decision and reaction times, COA-based visualization has proven to be
effective in conveying temporal orientation and increasing “tactical cognitive”
performance. As the dynamic information state factors (e.g., analysis insights,
atmospheric propagation and detection ranges) change, the new capability will
clarify their impact to the unit commander. 3-D visualization with 5-D
animation will enhance operator comprehension of options and contribute to
mission planning optimization.
The Phase II effort will likely require secure access, and NAVSEA will process
the DD254 to support the contractor for personnel and facility certification
for secure access. 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.
Work produced in Phase II may become classified. Note: The prospective
contractor(s) must be U.S. Owned and Operated with no Foreign Influence as
defined by DOD 5220.22-M, National Industrial Security Program Operating
Manual, unless acceptable mitigating procedures can and have been be
implemented and approved by the Defense Security Service (DSS). The selected
contractor and/or subcontractor must be able to acquire and maintain a secret
level facility and Personnel Security Clearances, in order to perform on
advanced phases of this contract as set forth by DSS and NAVSEA in order to
gain access to classified information pertaining to the national defense of the
United States and its allies; this will be an inherent requirement. The
selected company will be required to safeguard classified material IAW DoD
5220.22-M during the advance phases of this contract.
I: Develop an initial concept design for an automated 3-D COA solution that
presents 5-D animation of COA. Prove the feasibility of the concept, through
modeling and simulation, to meet the capabilities described in the Description.
Develop a Phase II plan. The Phase I Option, if exercised, will include the
initial design specifications and capabilities description to build a prototype
solution in Phase II.
II: Develop a prototype automated COA solution that presents 5-D animation of
COA for ease of comprehension that meets the parameters described in the Description.
Evaluate the prototype to ensure it improves situational visualization and
situational understanding within an IAMD context.
It is probable that the work under this effort will be classified under Phase
II (see Description section for details).
III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Support the Navy in transitioning the 3-D COA tool
with 5-D animation. It has two likely destinations, supporting the dual paths
the Navy is exploring for Battle Management Aid placement. The new COA tool
will be used as a web application service in the Navy’s Maritime Tactical
Command and Control (MTC2) network and will need to be compliant with the
software interface requirements for web applications as mentioned in the
Description. Support the Navy in transitioning the technology to Navy use
within the Aegis Weapon System (AWS in Advanced Capability Build (ACB) 20 or
higher) as part of an Integrated AWS planner. Refine the prototype for
integration into the current AWS operational planning tools. Test and refine
the prototype design for the appropriate interfaces with other Navy systems and
to comply with information security requirements.
The developed technology should be broadly applicable to live testing of manned
and unmanned systems and simulations in which users need COA planning and
updates to the plan as time progresses. Dual use applications are numerous,
almost any analyst seeking to combine spatial and temporal data in a single
display could use this technology.
Duffie Jr., Warren. “Virtual Victories: Marines Sharpen Skills with New
Virtual-Reality Games.” Office of Naval Research, 17 May 2017. http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=100513
Stilman, B. “Discovering the Discovery of the No-Search Approach.” Int. J. of
Machine Learning and Cybernetics, 2012, Springer., p. 27. (Printed in 2014,
Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 165-191.) https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13042-012-0127-3
Stilman, B., Yakhnis, V., and Umanskiy, O. “Chapter 3.3. Strategies in Large
Scale Problems.” Adversarial Reasoning: Computational Approaches to Reading the
Opponent's Mind, Ed. by A. Kott (DARPA) and W. McEneaney (UC-San Diego),
Chapman & Hall/CRC, pp. 251-285, 2007. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/267079439_Adversarial_reasoning_Computational_approaches_to_reading_the_opponent%27s_mind
Stilman, B. “Linguistic Geometry: From Search to Construction.” Kluwer (now
Springer), 2000, pp 416. https://www.springer.com/us/book/9780792377382
3-D Visualization; Tactical Decision Aid; 5-D Animation; Mission Planning
Optimization; Course of Action; Enhance Operator Comprehension
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