Acoustic Counter Dectection Tactical Decision Aid
Navy STTR FY2014A - Topic N14A-T016
ONR - Steve Sullivan -
Opens: March 5, 2014 - Closes: April 9, 2014 6:00am EST

N14A-T016 TITLE: Acoustic Counter Dectection Tactical Decision Aid

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems, Human Systems

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PEO-IWS5 (Integrated Warfare Systems) and Submarine Development Squadron 12

OBJECTIVE: Develop a submarine acoustic counter detection Tactical Decision Aid (TDA) to assist crews’ decision making in monitoring and maintaining acoustic stealth during rapidly changing, complex missions and tasks.

DESCRIPTION: Potential adversaries are challenging the United States military's assured access to the global commons. The Joint Force Commander will increasingly rely on low-signature undersea forces to open the door for large-capacity general-purpose surface and air forces. Undersea forces need to penetrate an adversary's anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) perimeter to deter, neutralize, or destroy submerged, surfaced, or airborne threats while maintaining tactical position and accomplishing mission. To achieve this goal, submarine crews need to stochastically evaluate local ocean environmental conditions to help detect, localize, and assess vulnerabilities (i.e. risk of counter detection) to A2/AD threats. A TDA should interface with currently fielded systems to provide acoustic risk in relation to historical and planned track and evolutions, contain platform specific and user configurable source levels for own ship noisy evolutions, determine the acoustic vulnerability of a given evolution for a given threat sensor, and use as an input existing noise monitoring systems to provide these assessments. The development community understands the physics of noise generation and propagation completely. The physical equations used to model both the generation and propagation of sound in the ocean have been validated through extensive measurements, and analysis over many decades. It is the temporal and spatial variation of the physical constants of the propagating medium and the acoustic characteristics of the adversary's sensor that defy our ability to accurately predict the nature of sound propagation and our vulnerability to counter-detection. An effective Vulnerability TDA should deal with uncertainty in the environment and the threat sensor; it should treat the environment and the threat sensor as random variables and evaluate vulnerability as Probability Density Functions. As a start, it should manage first order effects and not try to solve the problem absolutely.

PHASE I: Provide an initial development effort demonstrating an operator decision aid that simulates submarine noise monitoring systems to create an acoustic vulnerability assessment over time and space. The TDA tool output will overcome current assessments where the operator must manually draw overlays on top of a geographic plot with an operators’ best guess for vulnerability. TDA calculations will compute and display noise, sound speed profile, bottom type, and topography over time to estimate acoustic vulnerability.

PHASE II: Prototype TDA using submarine acoustic data sets where the environment and the threat sensor are random variables and evaluate vulnerability as Probability Density Functions. The prototype and report will be submitted to PEO-IWS5A’s Submarine Advanced Processor Build (APB) process integrates S&T solutions into a software build that can be transitioned to submarine production. The Submarine APB process is a well-defined and established process. It is a rigorous process comprised of four sequential ‘steps’. In Step 1, PEO-IWS5A peer review group assesses the performance of the S&T products via PEO-IWS5A’s APB Broad Agency Announcement. Step 2 consists of an independent performance testing and evaluation by PEO-IWS5A peer review groups, assuming that the S&T technologies showed promise in Step 1. Step 3, PEO-IWS5A funds independent end-to-end lab testing of the technology Products. Step 4 consists of at-sea testing. It is anticipated that the TDA software would be submitted in the APB-17 cycle.

PHASE III: Build and integrate TDA into the submarine mission planning application software located in AN/BYG-1 Submarine Combat and Weapon System.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: Successful development of the TDA should transition to other warfighting platforms.

1. Booher, H.A., "Handbook of Human Systems Integration (Wiley Series in Systems Engineering and Management", Wiley (2003).

2. Hodges, R.P., "Underwater Acoustics: Analysis, Design and Performance of Sonar", Wiley (2010).

3. SPAWAR, 2008, PCIMAT Version 7.0 User’s Manual, SPAWAR Systems Center San Diego.

4. SWDG (Surface Warfare Development Group), 2004, ASW Screen Planner TDA User Manual – TACMEMO SWDG 3-21.3-04, SWDG Norfolk, VA.

KEYWORDS: Decision aid; Acoustic; Sonar; Counter detection; Display

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