Charles River Analytics Develops Improved Training System for Anti-Submarine Warfare

Image from Charles River Analytics project St Master

Charles River Analytics, a developer of intelligent systems solutions, announces a contract to improve sonar training for the US Navy. The system for Sonar Training, Motivation, Assessment, Tailoring, and Enhanced Remediation, or ST-MASTER, aims to improve sonar training and operation on ships conducting anti-submarine warfare (ASW). The 25-month follow-on contract is valued at just under $700,000.

ASW is a vital strategic concern to the US Navy, since hostile submarines can pose serious threats to naval forces and seaborne lines of communication. “For ASW-capable surface ships, reaching and maintaining ASW proficiency is complicated by the lack of opportunities to interact with submarine targets,” explained Wayne Thornton, Captain, US Navy (Ret.), the principal investigator on ST-MASTER at Charles River.

To address this issue, the Navy has developed a system for conducting high-fidelity synthetic training to improve the sonar proficiency of ASW-capable surface ships, called the Surface ASW Synthetic Trainer (SAST). The Navy seeks to improve the system, including improving the ability of commanders to assess the sonar readiness of their units, as well as providing for sonar operators and teams being able to assess themselves.

“We are developing and evaluating ST-MASTER to work with the Navy’s SAST to improve sonar training and provide timely, detailed feedback on sonar proficiency,” continued Captain Thornton. “It will incorporate motivation models, assess users’ motivation levels, and provide tailored feedback enhanced by immersive learning simulation features.”

ST-MASTER includes a number of innovative features to improve individual and team motivation and learning, such as motivation models that harness both intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. It also takes a novel approach to tailor training and feedback for individuals and teams by using intelligent agents to modify training scenarios and customize rewards to achieve proficiency goals and dynamically maintain motivation. An example of one of the screens in ST-MASTER is seen below.

This example of a trainee’s user interface in ST-MASTER shows proficiency levels for several task areas in a configural display.


This material is based upon work supported by the Naval Sea Systems Command under Contract No. N00024-14-C-4058. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Naval Sea Systems Command.
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