The success of NATO forces depends on understanding the environment they are operating in and using that knowledge to make accurate decisions. In many cases, environmental knowledge is incomplete or contradictory, which can lead to poor operational and tactical decisions. CMRE is contributing to this critical area by developing a cost-effective integrated system that provides NATO militaries with the environmental knowledge they need to make informed decisions during operations.
The Centre is exploiting advances in information technologies (IT) to improve the accuracy of automated decision-making tools. Likewise, we are exploring ways to improve the speed and performance and reduce costs of assessing the environment using autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV). In particular, the Centre is using gliders as a low-risk, low-cost, covert data-gathering platform. Gliders, which use shifts in mass to change their trajectory and changes in buoyancy for propulsion, can be used to gather near real-time data and can be controlled to adapt to the ever-changing requirements of the maritime environment.
Capitalizing on advances in IT and AUV technology, the main goal of this research area is to develop automated tools and process for the following three tasks:
During Task 1—environmental characterization—uncertainty is assessed using a variety of mobile and remote sensors, including satellite remote sensing andin situ sensing using AUVs.
The results of Task 1 are used to improve the high-resolution models that are developed as part of Task 2. In Task 2, tactical
predictions are made using a numerical forecast and the fusion of data from multiple models. These predictions provide the inputs for Task 3, where environmental uncertainties from Tasks 1 and 2 are used by decision support software to optimize operational effectiveness and asset allocation for a given mission. These three tasks form a feedback loop when the results of Task 3 feed into Task 1: Knowledge gained as a result of decision making helps to further reduce uncertainty, ultimately increasing operational effectiveness.
This broad-based project requires research in all of the core competencies at the Center, including underwater sensing, underwater networking, data collection, analysis, modeling, instrumentation, and ultimately operational analysis for NATO militaries. The Centre is continually monitoring the success of this multi-faceted program through cost, performance, and schedule metrics that are gathered during a series of ongoing sea-trials in increasingly complex marine environments.