Email this Article Email   

CHIPS Articles: Ready for the Fight: Accelerating Cloud-Based Warfare Systems

Ready for the Fight: Accelerating Cloud-Based Warfare Systems
By Warren Duffie, Office of Naval Research - September 17, 2019
As conflicts become compressed in time and more complex, with an increasing number of data sources and platforms feeding information to warfighters, it is a challenge to build and share a complete and accurate operational picture.

To address this issue and align with the chief of naval operations’ concept for distributed maritime operations, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the U.S. Navy’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program are sponsoring the development of a cloud-computing environment called Cloud-to-Edge (CTE). By harnessing the power of cloud computing and big-data fusion, the CTE environment will enhance the agility and responsiveness of naval warfighters.

The CTE environment is designed for use by Sailors and Marines across land, sea and air domains. It enables secure combat system development; automated software testing and analysis; and scalable simulation. It also improves readiness, through extensive pre-mission training, feedback and assessment, and enhances operational information-gathering and decision-making.

The ultimate goal is to enable the Navy to make software changes (without requiring additional authorities) and assess the performance of CTE environments either on single vessels or within larger Carrier Strike Groups—against a variety of defined mission scenarios. The result will be certified software, deployable by the Navy on demand, for all Carrier Strike Groups.

“This is a great example of ONR partnering with Navy SBIR to fill a technology gap,” said ONR Executive Director E. Anne Sandel, “by helping companies transition and commercialize their technologies at scale.”

“An important step in getting the CTE environment to the fleet is ONR’s work with Navy SBIR to accelerate technology development by partnering with small businesses,” said SBIR Director Bob Smith.

The key component of the CTE environment is the Automated Test and Re-Test (ATRT) system, which delivers software-driven capabilities to the warfighter as quickly as possible. Virginia-based company Innovative Defense Technologies (IDT) developed ATRT after receiving SBIR funding to design technology that would promote rapid integration, testing and certification of new and updated software.

Earlier this year, the Navy successfully tested ATRT as part of the AEGIS Virtual Twin project—which involved the tactical deployment of a virtualized AEGIS Weapon System as a digital twin to the existing physical one.

The virtual twin contains all of the computer code used by the existing AEGIS Weapon System. Comprising multiple computer servers, it occupies a relatively small amount of space aboard a ship, does not interfere with the ship’s combat systems and is ideal for training and software testing.

Several AEGIS Virtual Twin systems were demonstrated on the USS Arleigh Burke, USS Ralph Johnson and USS Thomas Hudner. During the tests aboard the Thomas Hudner, the Virtual Twin executed a successful anti-air warfare engagement (operating as the tactical system) and demonstrated the capability to test and deploy a software update in less than 24 hours.

In a subsequent media interview, the Hon. James Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, described the tests as a pathway to revolutionize the speed at which the Navy can modernize current systems and keep pace with future threats.

“Success stories like IDT, ATRT and CTE environment demonstrate how the Navy leverages the expertise of small businesses to enable technology adoption at the pace of innovation,” said Smith. “Companies that do business with SBIR are helping to strengthen America’s naval advantage for years to come.”

Office of Naval Research
www.facebook.com/officeofnavalresearch
www.twitter.com/usnavyresearch
www.flickr.com/usnavyresearch
www.youtube.com/usnavyresearch

PACIFIC OCEAN (Oct. 24, 2017) A 5-Inch gun fires at a simulated target during a live fire exercise aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53). Mobile Bay is currently underway testing the updated AEGIS Baseline 9 weapons system in preparation for its upcoming deployment. (U.S Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad M. Butler/Released)
PACIFIC OCEAN (Oct. 24, 2017) A 5-Inch gun fires at a simulated target during a live fire exercise aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53). Mobile Bay is currently underway testing the updated AEGIS Baseline 9 weapons system in preparation for its upcoming deployment. (U.S Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad M. Butler/Released)

PACIFIC OCEAN (Oct. 24, 2017) A Close In Weapons System (CIWS) fires at a simulated target during a live fire exercise aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG-53). Mobile Bay is currently underway testing the updated AEGIS Baseline 9 weapons system in preparation for its upcoming deployment. (U.S Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad M. Butler/Released)
PACIFIC OCEAN (Oct. 24, 2017) A Close In Weapons System (CIWS) fires at a simulated target during a live fire exercise aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG-53). Mobile Bay is currently underway testing the updated AEGIS Baseline 9 weapons system in preparation for its upcoming deployment. (U.S Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad M. Butler/Released)

PACIFIC OCEAN (Oct. 24, 2017) An SM-2 missile launches and destroys an airborne training target during a successful first test of the updated AEGIS Baseline 9 weapons system aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53). Mobile Bay, the first guided-missile cruiser in the fleet to upgrade from AEGIS Baseline 8 to the updated Baseline 9, is underway testing new weapons capabilities in preparation for its upcoming deployment. (U.S Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad M. Butler/Released)
PACIFIC OCEAN (Oct. 24, 2017) An SM-2 missile launches and destroys an airborne training target during a successful first test of the updated AEGIS Baseline 9 weapons system aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53). Mobile Bay, the first guided-missile cruiser in the fleet to upgrade from AEGIS Baseline 8 to the updated Baseline 9, is underway testing new weapons capabilities in preparation for its upcoming deployment. (U.S Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad M. Butler/Released)
Related CHIPS Articles
Related DON CIO News
Related DON CIO Policy

CHIPS is an official U.S. Navy website sponsored by the Department of the Navy (DON) Chief Information Officer, the Department of Defense Enterprise Software Initiative (ESI) and the DON's ESI Software Product Manager Team at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific.

Online ISSN 2154-1779; Print ISSN 1047-9988
Hyperlink Disclaimer