For Immediate Release: Feb. 21, 2012
By Katherine H. Crawford, Office of Naval Research
ARLINGTON, Va.—An automated weather observation system developed by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) through its TechSolutions process is being readied for tests and evaluations at the end of February in addition to being featured in a new video, officials announced Feb. 21.
TechSolutions, ONR’s rapid-response science and technology program, focuses on developing prototype technologies to solve problems submitted by warfighters within 12-18 months from the original request. For Sailors and Marines, it is a bit like having a supercharged comments box or a magic genie.
Seeking a faster and easier way to compile atmospheric data reports aboard surface ships, Sailors asked TechSolutions for help. In response, a team developed the Automated Shipboard Weather Observation System—one of several prototype technologies highlighted in the new video.
“TechSolutions is an innovative business process that bridges the gap between the warfighter and the scientist,” said ONR’s command Master Chief Charles Ziervogel, who oversees TechSolutions. “The warfighter is involved throughout the process, helping to select the developer, providing feedback and participating in the final test and evaluation.”
The newly released video shows the process TechSolutions uses to solve problems that affect the day-to-day lives of warfighters. It provides an in-depth look at three TechSolutions prototype technologies that have been tested in the past year and may soon be helping to meet the Navy and Marine Corps’ vision for 2025:
- Sailors will no longer need to compile manual weather reports. The Automated Shipboard Weather Observation System—a weather data collection system for Navy surface ships—uses automated meteorological sensors and the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network, or SIPRNet, to transmit formatted weather reports to data collection centers. The system provides uniformly formatted data 24 hours a day in real time and in multiple formats.
- Marines will now be able to drive vehicles more safely at night. The Driver’s Vision Enhancement retrofit improves the current thermal imaging system for better visibility and safety for Marines operating combat vehicles in the dark. The small, relatively inexpensive unit is a cost-effective upgrade to the existing system that enhances image contrast so the driver can see obstacles more clearly.
- Landing signal officers (LSOs) now have an automated device that replaces the pen-and-paper data collection system currently in use. Improved Performance Assessment and Readiness Training System, or IPARTS—an enhanced tracking and assessment tool accessible from a laptop or handheld device—enables LSOs to record data directly into the database in real time. It automatically generates frequently used documents and identifies pilot trends.
Sailors and Marines can submit requests by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or filling out a simple online form at https://www.onr.navy.mil/techsolutions that asks two basic questions: “What is the problem?” and “What needs to happen to solve it?” Every query will be answered, even if it does not result in a project.
After selecting a project, the TechSolutions team works closely with the submitter(s) and subject-matter experts to further define the problem and the required capabilities, eventually turning to the Naval Research Enterprise for ideas and results.
To receive solicitation ideas, government researchers can register for an account via the TechSolutions website at https://www.onr.navy.mil/techsolutions by clicking on “Accounts” at the top of the page.
About the Office of Naval Research
The Department of the Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR) 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, 30 countries, 1,035 institutions of higher learning and more than 900 industry partners. ONR employs approximately 1,065 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel, with additional employees at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C.