Magazine article National Defense

Engineering Model Improves Submarine Communications

Magazine article National Defense

Engineering Model Improves Submarine Communications

Article excerpt

The U.S. Navy is transforming integrated communications on submarines and submarine shore support locations by adopting new modeling and analysis techniques that take in information across the entire enterprise instead of individually from disparate locations.

The results are improved communications among all the partners who make submarine operations successful as well as lower costs.

Led by the Navy's undersea integration program office (PMW 770), the new approach is called model based systems engineering. It offers an innovative switch from more cumbersome legacy engineering methods by using a computer-model-driven technique to manage systems upgrades and to identify risks for submarine communications architecture. The office recently received the 2016 Navy Acquisition Innovation Team Award for this effort.

PMW 770, one of 10 program offices within the Navy's program executive office command, control, communications, computers and intelligence is using model-based systems engineering to identify and resolve problems related to how a change in one location of the submarine communications architecture impacts the rest of the architecture.

Part of that work involves increasing efficiency and lowering costs--activities mandated in the current budgetary environment. To help address the challenges, the office contracted with industry partner G2 Ops to build a full modeling environment for the submarine communications architecture with the goal to produce more efficient system processes. The new more detailed model will help give better training to new operators, will provide more detailed troubleshooting references and enable a baseline that can be examined to ensure no unauthorized/unintended alterations have occurred within any part of the architecture.

The submarine communications architecture enables all of the communications for deployed submarines, playing a critical role in fleet operations and in the strategic communications necessary for the submarine force's operations, including the nuclear deterrent mission. PMW 770 used the system to conduct a detailed analysis of the submarine communication infrastructure's ability to support multiple functions critical for nuclear command, control and communications.

It employed the model to mine data by breaking down those critical functions to demonstrate how various components and interfaces support the communications at a detailed level not previously possible. …

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