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CHIPS Articles: Three SSC Pacific teams recognized as top Navy innovators at Pentagon ceremony

Three SSC Pacific teams recognized as top Navy innovators at Pentagon ceremony
By Patric Petrie, SSC Pacific staff writer - September 20, 2018
The Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Innovation Awards recognized three Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific (SSC Pacific) teams of researchers as top innovators within the Department of the Navy (DON) during a ceremony at the Pentagon, Sept. 4, 2018. The ceremony was officiated by the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development, and Acquisition), the Honorable James "Hondo" Guerts.

In a statement released by the SECNAV’s office, “These accomplishments are remarkable and serve as inspiration for the entire workforce to think boldly and solve the Nation’s most challenging problems.”

SSC Pacific’s Augmented Reality System for Topside Gun Crew Command and Control project, or "GunnAR," was recognized in the Technology Development category, which highlights DON achievements in the creation of new or improved hardware, software, or tool(s) that improve the effectiveness or overall mission readiness of the organization.

Heidi Buck, director of the Battlespace Exploitation of Mixed Reality (BEMR) Lab, explained the lab’s gaming developing expertise was a major factor in making Lt. Robert McClenning’s (ONR 2016 Innovation Jam winner) Unified Gunnery System concept a reality.

GunnAR is an augmented reality (AR) helmet that would fuse information from a ship’s gunnery liaison officer and weapon system into an easy-to-interpret visual format for the gunner manning a naval gun system.

“As a rapid prototyping lab, we were able to very quickly modify a commercial DAQRI headset software and build out the first iteration of the heads-up display (HUD),” Buck explained. “We took McLenning’s artistic concept of what the HUD should look like and built that out using our gaming development environment. It wasn't long after that we were able to participate in a pier-side demonstration, later followed by two live fire demonstrations.

“It's the hard work, fast turnaround, and outside the box innovative thinking of this wonderful team that makes these projects and ideas come to life so quickly,” she said.

Members of the DON workforce implementing new approaches to processes or procedures for Objective-Based Mission Planning for the MK 18 Unmanned Underwater Vehicle were recognized for their use of automation or artificial intelligence that significantly advanced mission accomplishment In the Automated Process Development category.

Also recognized with an Honorable Mention in the Innovation Leadership Category was Dr. Kristin L. Holzworth, project technical director for Additive Manufacturing Repairs for the M1A1 Main Battle Tank.

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