Oceanography Tactics Training for Employment Readiness
Navy SBIR 2018.2 - Topic N182-119
NAVAIR - Ms. Donna Attick - [email protected]
Opens: May 22, 2018 - Closes: June 20, 2018 (8:00 PM ET)


TITLE: Oceanography Tactics Training for Employment Readiness


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform, Battlespace, Human Systems

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PMA-205 Naval Aviation Training Systems

OBJECTIVE: Develop a software-based tool to rapidly generate web-based animated training content for employment of advanced oceanography tactics and is capable of incorporating adaptive content presentation based on learner progress through knowledge assessments.

DESCRIPTION: The Navy’s crawl-walk-run approach to aviation training provides learning opportunities through mixed media beginning with classroom lectures and computer-based training, engagement with equipment through individual and part task training, and finally aircrew training in high fidelity simulation-based or live environments. Early computer-based training focuses on very specific foundational skills and teaches them in a vacuum (i.e., skills are taught individually and not how they will later be combined to perform the whole duty or job). To address this issue, the Navy advocates building a capability that allows instructors or Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to easily build training scenarios that are immersive and interactive physics-based animations and models. The resulting training would address the unidimensionality of early computer-based training by providing opportunities to trainees to start combining and building upon skills. Additionally, the capability should allow instructors and SMEs to build in assessment and intelligent tutoring functionality that ensures trainees have a degree of mastery before moving on to the next scenario. These scenarios can come from any domain to prove the concept for Phase I. During Phase II, the Navy’s maritime patrol community may provide scenarios to refine the technology for their purposes. Considering the lack of availability of training systems and dearth of instructors, the accessibility of remediation or advanced skill development training opportunities is greatly limited. Given these limitations, there is a need to provide instructors with tools to rapidly develop web-based training content that animates advanced oceanography tactical employment to provide learners with the opportunity to remediate challenging skills and/or increase their skill base. Animations would pertain to the entire breadth of an oceanographic environment. The content generation tool should include both the animated training content with lesson data and identification of assessment points for knowledge checks. The content would include everything from charts, text, animated and live videos, graphs, and raw stochastic data. Finally, due to the on-demand nature of the desired training, the training output should provide a means to adjust the pace and/or focus of recommended future vignettes based on the results of the assessments. This training would be intended for new training but could be used for refresher training or retraining. Consider Risk Management Framework (RMF) guidelines to support Information Assurance (IA) compliance in software design and any other applicable policies or standards [Ref 6].

Work produced in Phase II may become classified. Note: The prospective contractor(s) must be U.S. Owned and Operated with no Foreign Influence as defined by DOD 5220.22-M, National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual, unless acceptable mitigating procedures can and have been implemented and approved by the Defense Security Service (DSS). The selected contractor and/or subcontractor must be able to acquire and maintain a secret level facility and Personnel Security Clearances, in order to perform on advanced phases of this contract as set forth by DSS and NAVAIR in order to gain access to classified information pertaining to the national defense of the United States and its allies; this will be an inherent requirement. The selected company will be required to safeguard classified material IAW DoD 5220.22-M during the advance phases of this contract.

PHASE I: Determine the feasibility of developing a training content generation tool for oceanography tactics training that: (1) provides animated web-based vignettes, (2) provides mechanisms for building in scaffolding and overlays for instructional points of interest, (3) incorporates assessment, and (4) recommends training options based on learner progress. Develop rapid prototype(s) design to demonstrate feasibility of proposed approach. Consider Risk Management Framework (RMF) guidelines to support Information Assurance (IA) compliance in software design. Produce plans to develop a prototype in Phase II. Note: Phase I will focus exclusively on unclassified oceanography topics that can be hosted on unclassified systems.

PHASE II: Develop and demonstrate a software-based rapid content generation tool that outputs animated lessons and supports capture of knowledge assessments. The final program should be downloadable or accessible on a desktop or laptop computer and the training accessible online via Navy secure networks. Design and develop an architecture to provide recommendations on training vignette progression based on student assessment results. Conduct an analysis to demonstrate the validity of the rapid content generation tool to output animated lessons and support capture of knowledge assessments for at least one use case vignette. Success will be based on SME evaluations of the tool’s adequacy to deliver multidimensional training. Consider RMF guidelines to support IA compliance in software design, including requirements to allow installation on Secure Internet Protocol Router Networks (SIPRNet) if appropriate for transition path.

It is probable that the work under this effort will be classified under Phase II (see Description section for details).

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Refine the rapid content generation tool to output animated lessons and support capture of knowledge assessments for a transition of interest and/or commercialization. Demonstrate the validity of the software for transition purposes defined by the end-user SMEs in the maritime patrol community. Refine the training vignette progression recommendation architecture based on student assessments. Harden the software architecture and implement RMF guidelines to support IA compliance, including requirements to allow installation on SIPRNet or Navy Internet Protocol Networks (NIPRNet) if appropriate for transition path. Coordinate with partners or customers of commercial applications of the technology solution development.

A rapid training content generation tool can be useful in professional industry and academic environments (e.g., construction, research, engineering, analytics) where tasking is nested in such a way where simple tasks must be learned before trainees can be expected to perform higher complexity tasks. Additionally, when hands-on training early on is not feasible or resources to support face-to-face training and mentorship are limited, the objectives of this technology provide a technical solution. This tool could be useful in dynamic environments (e.g., aviation, sciences, technology innovation, management) where the nature of tasks change frequently.


1. “Anti-Submarine Warfare: Concepts of Operations for the 21st Century.” TASK FORCE ASW, Navy Communications, 2017, pp. 1-5.  http://www.navy.mil/navydata/policy/asw/asw-conops.pdf

2. Knauss, J.A. & Garfield, N. 2017. “Introduction to Physical Oceanography.” 3rd Ed. Waveland Press, November 2016.  https://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Physical-Oceanography-John-Knauss-ebook/dp/B01NACOGAP/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1516818046&sr=8-1&keywords=introduction+to+physical+oceanography

3. Malek-Madani, R.  “Physical Oceanography: A Mathematical Introduction with MATLAB.” 1st Ed. CRC Press, 2017.   https://www.amazon.com/Physical-Oceanography-Mathematical-Introduction-MATLAB-ebook/dp/B008H5UDCA/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1516818209&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=physical+oceanography%3A+A+mathematical+introduction+with+MATLAB+1st+Ed

4. Kim, Y.J. “The Underwater Propagation of Sound and Applications.” Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science, 2012.  http://dujs.dartmouth.edu/2012/03/the-underwater-propagation-of-sound-and-its-applications/#.WmjN2lWnF7g

5. “Technologies for Ocean Acoustic Monitoring.” NOAA Communications, NOAA Ocean Explorer Website.  http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/technology/tools/acoustics/acoustics.html

6. “Risk Management Framework.” Defense Security Service. http://www.dss.mil/documents/rmf/DSS_RMF_Webinar_Training_Slides_June2016.pdf

KEYWORDS: Training; Remediation; Web-based Software; Customizable; Tailored Training; Interactive



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