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Autonomous, adaptive, aware: DINCS

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Author: Janssen, J.A.A.J. · Butler, J. · Worthington, P. · Geertsma, F.D. · Hartog, M. den
Source:Proceedings of the 13th International Naval Engineering Conference and Exhibition (INEC 2016), April 2016, Bristol, UK
Identifier: 867693
Keywords: Defence, Safety and Security · 2015 Observation, Weapon & Protection Systems · DSS - Distributed Sensor Systems · TS - Technical Sciences


Sensor, weapon and command systems on board modern naval ships have a high dependence on support systems, particularly distributed fluid systems. Distributed Intelligent Networked Control Systems (DINCS) offers timely and efficient reconfiguration of these support systems in case of malfunctions or weapon-induced failures. Software agents contained within DINCS autonomously detect, isolate and reconfigure distributed fluid systems to maintain as much of the ship’s fight-through capability as possible. First this paper analyses the performance of DINCS with the survivability analysis tool RESIST (REsilience SImulation for Ship Targets) to validate the impact of DINCS on the ship’s survivability. This work determines the effects of weapon hits and assesses the combined consequences for the ship’s state after the incident. Results show that the fight-through capability, expressed as the number of tasks the ship is still able to perform in accordance with the command aim, increases strongly when using DINCS, whilst the vulnerability of the platform support systems to battle damage is minimised. Secondly, increased automation often raises questions about the impact on operator situational awareness. In this paper new Human Machine Interface (HMI) concepts for the DINCS technology demonstrator to improve the crewmembers’ situational awareness are discussed, with due consideration of relevant standards and legislation. These concepts support the operator in: presenting system status; monitoring and alerting on leaks and battle damage; displaying consequences of battle damage and informing the operator of autonomously conducted isolations and reconfigurations; suggesting solutions when DINCS is set to non-autonomous; presenting tasks for the ship’s crew to return to full operational capability and providing situational awareness at the correct level of detail. In multiple subject matter expert reviews, these designs have been improved iteratively by using cognitive walkthroughs of various scenarios. Furthermore the evaluation set-up to test the operator situational awareness of the final HMIdesign is described.