The Remote Monitoring initiative under the Surface Warfare Enterprise (SWE) has resulted in significantly improved equipment monitoring for surface ship hull, mechanical and electrical (HM&E) equipment.
Through the combined efforts of Naval Surface Forces and Ship Systems Engineering Station (SSES) in Philadelphia, the Integrated Condition Assessment System (ICAS) has been updated to allow analysis via automatic downloading of ships' data to a central NAVSSES server. The combined improvements now deliver to the ship an Integrated Performance Appraisal Report (iPAR) of current equipment operating conditions within 24 hours.
The previous process for iPAR delivery used a manual approach and averaged 16 days to create and deliver this report back to the ship. The benefit of this improved process is that it allows ships to properly respond to "yellow" and "red" operating conditions on a timely basis before catastrophic equipment failures can occur.
These upgraded ICAS systems, currently on 36 of 76 ICAS-equipped combatants, consist of three added elements that include:
• Remote Monitoring Utility software that automates the download of data through the ship's Navy Information/Application Product Suite (NIAPS);
• A Configuration Data Set update to improve ICAS data accuracy and reduce unreadable or "gray" data cells; and
• An Auto Update Tool to allow remote download of future software upgrades.
As a result, these ships are now able to automatically download data to the Maintenance Equipment Library Server (MELS) at NAVSSES Philadelphia, which analyzes the data and generates the ship's iPAR.
The iPAR, which includes subject matter expert (SME) comments for recommended equipment checks, is then uploaded to the ship for HM&E material health visibility and assessment beyond the ship's alarms and control systems.
It also provides the same information to shore sources of support (SoS) for possible maintenance follow up. If a red condition is noted requiring technical help from shore-based SoS organizations, the iPAR provides operating data which a SME can also access through MELS.
While the ICAS improvements to date have been significant, NAVSSES continues to refine and upgrade the system. A new enterprise Performance Assessment Report (ePAR) has just completed testing and is ready for use by SMEs and Class Squadrons (CLASSRON).
The ePAR report provides a stoplight-like condition report summary by specific system or group/class of ships. This report also provides SMEs drill down capability into specific red systems for analysis of more detailed operating conditions underlying the problem to be addressed.
As a result of these improvements, ICAS is now providing key remote monitoring lessons learned which represent a significant step forward in the Navy's way ahead to provide viable condition-based maintenance approaches to reduce repair costs and extend the life of a ship's systems.
These lessons learned provide another example of how the SWE is meeting its mission of optimizing warfighting readiness for combatant commanders.
Continuous process improvement allows the SWE to fulfill that mission in each core area: maintenance, modernization, logistics, manning and training.
The SWE is an enterprise committed to providing the most powerful, dominant, and adaptable surface warfighters and ships with maximum efficiency and careful stewardship of resources.
Commander, Naval Surface Forces is located in San Diego, Calif., and is headed by Vice Adm. D.C. Curtis, who ensures all of the Navy's surface ships are properly manned, trained, equipped and sustained to effectively support military operations around the globe.
Rear Adm. Kevin Quinn is the deputy SURFOR commander, located in Norfolk, Va. He is "dual-hatted" as the commander of Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Atla