Mission Planning Application for Submarine Operations and Risk Management
Navy SBIR FY2013.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2013.1
Topic No.: N131-044
Topic Title: Mission Planning Application for Submarine Operations and Risk Management
Proposal No.: N131-044-0222
Firm: Sonalysts, Inc.
215 Parkway North
P.O. Box 280
Waterford, Connecticut 06385
Contact: John Dickmann
Phone: (401) 849-0400
Web Site: www.sonalysts.com
Abstract: Sonalysts proposes to develop a Mission Planning-Evaluation Tool (MP-ET) to support submarine Commanding Officers' risk and operational assessment of mission plans. Our approach is to extend the current APB-13 Mission Planning Application (MPA) by using a fuzzy logic approach. This method enables encoding the heuristics used by experts into an automated, quantifiable evaluation of operational risk. Our approach is to use a simulation engine to run multiple trials of a course of action-scenario combination, and evaluate the output with a fuzzy logic engine. Our fuzzy logic rule set will be developed by interviewing current and former submarine Commanding Officers and reviewing relevant submarine grounding, collision, mission, and exercise reports. We will leverage or develop, as necessary, modular interfaces to the existing Mission Planning Application (MPA). Simulation outputs will be processed through a Fuzzy Logic (FL) engine to compute risk and effectiveness for presentation to a decision maker. We will develop an initial Risk Assessment Display, aimed at presenting risk elements, risk factors, and an aggregated risk timeline which will present FL output to the Commanding Officer. We will also examine the run-time feasibility of using a simulation engine for real-time evaluation of risk and effectiveness.
Benefits: The main benefit of this approach is to leverage advanced FL tools to support a cognitively challenging and labor intensive process. The goal is to ensure that a statistically meaningful exploration is conducted of the sources and impacts of risk in an operational mission plan. A simulation-based evaluation of risk and operational effectiveness will free up the submarine Commanding Officer and his crew to think more broadly about their mission and their options, rather than spend time considering what, today, are most likely a narrow subset of risk scenarios. In the commercial and non-defense Government domain, many emerging corporate problems are extremely complex, require extensive human attention and planning, and are also subject to risk. These organizations can also benefit from the automated risk assessment, especially in cases where risk can emerge at machine speed. Examples include humanitarian assistance, disaster preparedness, and disaster response (both in commercial manufacturing or state/city Government contexts). Any activity that can be represented in a simulation and where current approaches to risk are highly dependent upon expert knowledge are amenable to this approach. The proposed tool extends and improves upon the existing APB-13 mission planning application and is intended for integration with PMS 425's AN/BYG-1 Tactical Control System. It may also be of interest to other programs, such as PMS-406 for UUV mission planning and PMS-397 for potential integration with the Ohio Replacement Program.