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CHIPS Articles: The enterprise ISEA of the future is on the horizon

The enterprise ISEA of the future is on the horizon
By J.W. Marcum, NSWC PHD - March 27, 2018
PORT HUENEME, Calif.—Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Warfare Centers are moving towards a revised model of the enterprise In-Service Engineering Agent (ISEA).

The catalyst for this movement began through a collaborative effort among seven warfare centers to develop a framework that would enhance consistency and effectiveness of in-service engineering across the NAVSEA enterprise.

“One of the goals of the enterprise ISEA of the Future is to connect communities of ISE practitioners to share tools, capabilities and lessons learned,” said Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Corona Division Senior Missile Reliability Analyst and project collaborator Hanh Servin. “This connection will naturally lead to collaboration amongst the warfare centers as we trek together through the unclear path of getting the Navy fleet to a more predictive environment.”

In addition to Corona, participating warfare centers include NSWC Philadelphia, NSWC Carderock, NSWC Crane, NSWC Panama City, and Naval Undersea Warfare Center Keyport, with the campaign lead by Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division (PHD).

“We launched this initiative to understand how in-service engineering is going to change as we head into the future with new technologies and systems,” said NSWC PHD Science and Technology Lead and Project Lead Mark Jue.

The team’s vision is to enhance the effectiveness of in-service engineering throughout a systems lifecycle by leveraging emergent and advanced technologies in support of the fleet.

“In the past, in-service engineering was reactive,” stated Jue. “Today, it is preventive. We need to strive for tomorrow, which is predictive.”

Their objectives include identifying capabilities and tools to enhance ISEA functions across the enterprise; integrating advanced ISEA capabilities, tools and processes across systems lifecycle; connecting ISEA Communities of Practice to coordinate and assess the implementation of technologies and methodologies; and making recommendations for standards and best practices.

“Through collaboration of research and sharing of best practices across the enterprise, the warfare centers would maintain a continuous lifecycle feedback loop from development to disposal for our systems,” said Jue.

Current efforts are to build a standardized enterprise taxonomy for ISEA roles and functions. Each participating warfare center is collecting tools and processes mapped against knowledge areas and elements. The team has already reached a consensus that ISEA functions need to be inserted at the start of the product support lifecycle, which will lead to reduced total ownership costs and increased readiness.

“This project perfectly aligns with Corona's mission and strategic goals to provide enabling assessments, tools and capabilities for the warfighters to train, fight and win,” said Servin.

By utilizing the Naval Innovative Science and Engineering (NISE) Program, NSWC PHD continues to research technologies that align with the ISEA of the future infrastructure. Some of the command’s projects include augmented reality for maintenance, re-arming at sea, artificial intelligence for technical manuals, workforce development in directed energy, railgun, and advanced radars. NSWC PHD technology domains are cybersecurity, material science, artificial intelligence, operations research, unmanned systems, data analytics, and communications and surveillance.

“These investments focus on expanding future capabilities while aligning with NSWC PHD's three core mission areas — test and evaluation (T&E), In-Service Engineering, and Product Support,” said Jue. “The integration and pairing of these technologies will advance NSWC PHD into the future as leads for predictive analysis.”

“We are laying the foundation of the future state for ISEA and how this aligns with NAVSEA Commander, Vice Adm. Moore’s Campaign Plan to Expand the Advantage by creating a high-velocity learning environment,” continued Jue. “When we briefed Vice Adm. Moore, he realized this approach would map research across the enterprise to provide a greater solution to the fleet. He has requested we expedite the project to make it happen within 18 months; half the time we had originally proposed.”

“The enterprise ISEA of the Future will generate tangible results through the application of the phenomenal research, development and T&E efforts of the warfare centers,” added Servin. “Not only will this advance the way we do business, it will continue to motivate the workforce to be innovative.”

The team will conduct a face-to-face meeting at NSWC Carderock in May to review and discuss the taxonomy, future pillars, current technologies and adopt a new plan for execution, which will include resource funding and staffing for the next fiscal year. In September, the group will host another face-to-face meeting to finalize the model and then present it to Moore.

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