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August 2012 Issue

US Navy’s Universal Gateway on Track To Integrate Fleet Information Networks in 2013
A U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) universal gateway system that gives sailors access to more accurate, secure, real-time information is expected to be delivered to the fleet in 2013, ONR announced in July.

The Navy’s vessels have two networks: one for combat systems (weapons and sensors) and one for command and control, or C2, which encompasses intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. There are some 30 interconnections between the two networks, making it difficult to integrate data into a real-time common operating picture, as well as costly to maintain.

ONR developed the universal gateway to collapse the 30 connections into a single portal, which automates data integration. The gateway is intended to produce a shared situation display for ships that goes beyond showing just force and unit locations to showing a full common operating picture. The gateway can be put between any networks, regardless of their classification levels.

In 2010 and 2011, ONR completed a series of technical evaluations that proved the gateway could integrate the various technologies that run on it. ONR also has been working on connecting data from unmanned aerial systems into the gateway to help achieve a networked force. The next phase is to move the data into a cloud environment and add analytical capability.


Rough Rhino Completes Successful International Maritime Security Operation in West Africa
The Rough Rhino sensor and software suite, sponsored by the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR), has completed a two-week African Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership operation in West Africa to assist and build partner nations’ capability to interdict and counter narcotics, human trafficking and illegal fishing, ONR announced in July.

The distributed intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system, which includes radar, optics, electronic surveillance and integrated software, provides comprehensive maritime domain awareness for vessels that range from no electronic emissions to those that report their name and positions.

The system was installed on the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory’s VXS-1 P-3, USS Simpson and Senegalese ships SNS Poponguine and SNS Djiffere, which operated off the coast of Senegal and Cape Verde. Sailors and coast guardsmen could access and control the sensors both afloat and ashore, as well as share information in a real-time common operating picture. On any given day, Rough Rhino tracked more than 600 targets, identified vessels of interest and culminated in 24 boardings by Gambian, Senegalese and U.S. maritime security teams.

To date, the system has participated in five major operations.


Bluefin’s Knifefish Completes Preliminary Design Review for LCS Package
Bluefin Robotics (Quincy, Massachusetts) announced in July that it has successfully completed the preliminary design review for Knifefish, a specialized Bluefin-21 UUV for surface mine countermeasures (SMCM).

Knifefish will be part of the littoral combat ship (LCS) mine warfare mission package for the U.S. Navy and will enable the mine warfare fleet to detect and identify proud and buried mines in high-clutter environments.

The SMCM UUV system will include two Knifefish UUVs, launch and recovery equipment, a support container, spare parts and support equipment. The UUV will feature field-swappable batteries, an integrated navigation system and low-noise propulsion technology. Bluefin’s Operator Tool Suite will be provided for mission planning and monitoring. The vehicle will carry an advanced sonar payload provided by General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems (Fairfax, Virginia), to which Bluefin is under subcontract.


USS Ohio Gold Crew Member Becomes First Female Supply Officer to Qualify in Submarines
Lt. Britta Christianson of USS Ohio’s Gold Crew became in June the first female supply officer to qualify in submarines. She received her Submarine Supply Corps “dolphins” from the Gold Crew Commanding Officer Capt. Rodney Mills during a ceremony at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.

In order to receive her Supply dolphins, Christianson, who is already a qualified naval flight officer and surface supply officer, was required to demonstrate knowledge in basic submarine operations and engineering fundamentals, perform damage control functions and qualify as a diving officer of the watch.

Christianson joined the Gold Crew in November 2011.


2013:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC
2012:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC

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