FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 1, 2010
By John Castagna
Office of Naval Research Corporate Communications
ARLINGTON, Va.--The Office of Naval Research (ONR) is funding emerging technology that will allow wireless surveillance not only of ships and aircraft, but also the tracking of people and high value assets inside the ships.
ONR sponsors work in advanced electronics, such as the Precise At-Sea Ship System for Indoor-Outdoor Navigation (PASSION), that ratchets up the Navy’s ability to keep thorough tabs on its environment. PASSION enables wireless position tracking of both the external and internal environment of naval vessels.
The concept is the brainchild of Dr. John Kim, ONR program officer for Navigation and Timekeeping. PASSION is being developed and reviewed under Kim’s oversight by navy civilian Dr. Bereket Tanju, and carried out by the Navy’s Carrier and Air Integration program office and partners.
PASSION meets a need, recommended by a Navy Research Advisory Committee (NRAC) study, for positioning systems aboard aircraft carriers and other vessels to reduce on-board manning, for damage control and maintenance, and for locating personnel and equipment.
According to the NRAC study, “The ability to remotely and reliably determine the real time status of the ship and crew must be expanded far beyond the current capability. In virtually any damage control scenario, knowledge of the location and status of crew members is essential.” The committee also said, “Electronic dog tags or communication through a wireless sensor telemetry system could easily provide crew location information and could report a general summary of individual status.”
ONR invested $600,000 over three years to develop and demonstrate the technology. Now that its capabilities are proven, the Navy is looking to introduce PASSION capability into the fleet working within the acquisition framework.
“Based on successful simulations, and integrated indoor hardware tests conducted at George Washington University and on board USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), we envision that PASSION technologies will be introduced in all Nimitz (CVN 68) class ships as a part of their wireless networks,” Kim said.
The PASSION project is being managed by the Navy’s Carrier and Air Integration Program Office, with assistance from the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlan¬tic, and Pacific.
About the Office of Naval Research
The Department of the Navy’s Office of Naval Research provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps’ technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 70 countries, 1,035 institutions of higher learning, and 914 industry partners. ONR employs approximately 1,400 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel.
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