Advanced Systems Supportability Engineering Technologies & Tools


» STTR N07-T036 – Compact Long-Range Underwater Velocity Sensor
» SBIR N04-069 – Architecture Evaluation Tool
» SBIR N04-039 – Parametric Sonar
» SBIR OSD05-NC3 – Guaranteed Data Integrity in the GIG-NCES Environment
» SBIR VSS – Velocity Sensing Sonar
» SBIR N05-053 – Technology Insertion Planning Tool
» SBIR N05-162 – Obsolescence Management

ASSETT’s commitment to innovation has resulted in success at winning Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards. SBIR is a highly competitive program that encourages small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. Since its enactment in 1982, as part of the Small Business Innovation Development Act, SBIRs have helped small businesses make contributions through research and development to enhance the nation's defense, protect the environment, advance health care, and improve our ability to manage information and manipulate data.  SBIRs are generally done in three Phases. Winning a Phase I means that the company has given an initial response that meets the requirements of the SBIR and the proposed concept by the company(s) warrants further consideration. The company will be given a finite amount of money and time to establish their ideas/concepts. After the Phase I contract is finished, the agency that established the SBIR criteria can then decide if the work done under Phase I merits a follow-on contract or Phase II. A Phase II allows the business to have more time and funds to bring their ideas into a working model. If Phase II work is innovative and shows technological potential to be of benefit to the sponsor of the SBIR, then the work can proceed to a Phase III, where the idea becomes a final product. ASSETT has won 8 SBIRs, 7 of which are currently in Phase II and the other one was a Phase I win in 2007. The following are SBIRs that have been awarded to ASSETT with a short description.

STTR N07-T036 – Compact Long-Range Underwater Velocity Sensor
This proposal responds to the need for enhanced underwater position estimation for its Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (UUVs). In this Phase I effort, we propose to design a velocity sensor for UUV’s that is based upon our existing Broadband Sonar technology developments for the US Navy in applications for both weapon based systems and manned underwater vehicles. This improved velocity sensor is not only accurate in bottom ranging from less than ten feet, to greater than 1000 feet, but is also significantly smaller and requires less power (10 Watts or less) to operate than legacy systems. Consistent with our previous Sonar and Doppler technology developments, we anticipate that the resulting velocity sensor can be capable of interfacing with both legacy navigation devices and future open architecture systems. Further, the design will be inherently less sensitive to acoustical noise that is self-generated by the vehicle, or inherent in the environment. ASSETT has assembled a strong team that combines in house skill and experience with Draper Laboratory, a premier research institution in the area of UUV and Sonar Systems, and MNW Associates, a company with extensive experience in the design and analysis of complex sonar systems.

SBIR N04-069 – Architecture Evaluation Tool
ASSETT, Inc. in Manassas Virginia has developed an innovative architecture evaluation tool which, although targeted for the DD(X) program, has wide applicability across DoD and Commercial environments. Designed to take into account and trade off eight parameters, using AHP methods, this tool provides the in depth assessment and prioritization scheme customized for the specific architecture application.

Assessed through the inputs associated with a 137 question survey, this tool set also highlights inconsistent survey responses to improve the accuracy of the documented configuration and application description. This tool leverages the expertise of significant commercial and DoD architectural experience and scales to handle both local and world-wide architectural issues. This Phase I effort is targeted for transition to Phase II.

SBIR N04-039 – Parametric Sonar
ASSETT is nearing completion of a Phase II SBIR contract to develop a technology for improving performance of fleet torpedoes in shallow water. The technology was recently presented at the May 2007 Navy Opportunity Forum in a briefing NextGen Active Sonar (NG-AS) – For Greater Effectiveness in Littoral Waters.

Current sonar system performance is highly variable, based on a wide spectrum of environmental variances which in many cases are further accentuated in shallow water and/or the littorals. Applying its 30+ years of sonar development expertise, ASSETT, Inc. has developed the Next Generation Active Sonar (NG-AS) that represents a significant improvement over today’s active systems, based upon extensive testing and data analysis. The concept of this Sonar System was developed during Phase I and has been proven in Field Tests at a Navy test facility during Phase II. It has been shown that NG-AS has a wide range of applicability across any platform using active sonar. The demonstrated improved performance can be applied to functions such as navigation, object detection, communications, and classification.

The field test results have been briefed to NAVSEA, NUWC, ONR, and FLTWARCOM organizations interested in implementing this NG-AS technology.

Further information on this technology can be arranged on a “Need to Know” basis and with the approval of the U.S. Navy.

SBIR OSD05-NC3 – Guaranteed Data Integrity in the GIG-NCES Environment
NC3, Guaranteed Data Integrity in the GIG NCES Environment, is an Office of the Secretary of Defense sponsored research topic administered by the Office of Naval Research.  It is currently in Phase II and is a joint effort between ASSETT and the Computer Science Department of the University of Virginia (UVa).   The project is addressing the issue of how an analyst who has obtained information through discovery tools on the Global Information Grid (GIG) can make some assessment of its factual reliability.  As data is analyzed and the resulting information is filtered and summarized at higher and higher levels through the information hierarchy a means is needed to trace results back to their origin.  ASSETT and UVa are engaged in defining and demonstrating how pedigree metadata can be structured and associated with the original data and resulting analytical information to make it possible to construct the family tree of a higher level analytical result.  By examining this tree it becomes possible to determine whether seemingly independent and confirming results are actually drawn from the same base information.  By further associating metadata concerning the information producer’s own assessment of the reliability of the information it becomes possible to develop algorithms to assign figures of merit to the reliability of higher and higher levels of results.   Finally, given an actionable result it now becomes possible to provide notification when an information producer makes a significant change to a critical piece of underlying information upon which an action is based.  Likewise, if there is a key piece of information that led an analyst to recommend no action and that information changes significantly, an alert can be issued to the analyst to prompt reconsideration of the no-action decision.

SBIR VSS – Velocity Sensing Sonar
ASSETT, Inc. in Manassas Virginia

SBIR N05-053 – Technology Insertion Planning Tool
Leveraging the advantages of commercial technologies into today’s complex systems brings both programmatic and technical challenges to the acquisition office and the contractor. These new challenges include:

  • Submarine Sonar Development (a $120M program, in the 1970’s)?
  • What quantity of resources should be procured in support of the development effort?
  • How do I ensure that the system components are not obsolete at the time of initial system delivery?
  • How do I plan sparing requirements in the context of the short life cycle of commercial products?
  • Is it possible to link upgrades in performance with advances in technology to minimize cost and impacts to the platform?

TIPP provides the program manager and/or chief engineer with the ability to analyze alternative approaches for system upgrades driven by new mission needs, obsolescence issues, on-going research such as SBIRs or fleet inputs (gaps).  TIPP provides a convenient mechanism to document the current system baseline technologies and project the evolution of those technologies over the life cycle of the system.

TIPP is highly configurable allowing the user to define key trade-off parameters for the alternatives evaluated.  These parameters include:

  • The frequency of when the system will be updated,
  • Trade-off criteria,
  • Constraints such as throughput performance, power, volume, footprint, etc.

TIPP output of TIPP is a plan of record that reflects performance upgrades and the deployment of new technologies based on least impact to the program and synchronized with platform availability.

TIPP is being developed in collaboration with Frontier Technologies, SimVentions and Trident Systems as a part of the Open Architecture Technology Insertion Management Environment (OA-TIME). OA-TIME provides a suite of enterprise level PM tools that can exchange and consolidate information in order to provide the user with a single integrated view of his or her program.

SBIR N05-162 – Obsolescence Management
ASSETT Incorporated of Manassas, Virginia is pleased to announce it was awarded a Phase II SBIR contract from NAVSEA to develop the Schedule Workload Integrated Forecasting Tool (SWIFT).  The contract was awarded on 22 August 2007 and consists of a 12 month Base period contract followed by a 12 month Option period contract with a total contract value of $2.5M over the two year period.

The SWIFT contract is a follow-on effort to ASSETTs successful performance on the N05-162 Phase I Obsolescence Management Decision Making and Planning Tool.  The Phase I effort demonstrated the feasibility of developing a flexible toolset capable of providing quantitative analysis and alternative solutions for a variety of applications, as well as, use of probability distributions and stochastic methods as a means to optimize schedule availabilities based on selectable priorities.

The SWIFT effort capitalizes on the schedule optimization work done under the Phase I SBIR.  Developing availability and maintenance schedules for Navy ships and submarines is a complex task that involves trading the competing demands of forward presence and maintenance requirements especially since the Navy has transitioned from predictable, periodic employment schedules to more flexible schedules, as required by the Fleet Response Plan.  Existing scheduling methods are too slow to optimize schedule scenarios under a range of planning assumptions.  SWIFT is being designed as an Executive Level decision aid that will support the maintenance scheduling function for the Fleet.

SWIFT is part of a larger NAVSEA Spiral development effort which will eventually encompass the entire fleet, as well as, public and private maintenance facilities and resources.  Numerous Phase III efforts have been identified and provide a very positive outlook for the continued growth of the SWIFT development effort for many years to come.   SWIFT can be directly transportable to other military customers including the Army/Marines/Air Force logistics support centers, as well as, commercial industry in support optimization of scheduled maintenance for industries such as Commercial Transport, Airlines, Freight, etc.