IEEE International Multi-Disciplinary Conference on Cognitive Methods in Situation Awareness and Decision Support (CogSIMA), Orlando, FL (March 2015)
There are many task-related factors that drive the complexity and diversity of submarine operations during a mission, including knowing the correct time to make periscope observations, estimating the correct sea state, and being aware of the proximity of contacts. In addition, there are unpredictable events and circumstances, including equipment failures, environmental factors, and adversary actions, that affect the operation’s success or failure. After operations are complete, commanders are tasked with recounting and reporting events of interest. Commanders are asked to recall details of critical incidents, when their perceptual and cognitive resources are likely to be over-tasked, resulting in less accurate recall. In most operations, there is little objective data collection to back up those recollections, especially for critical incidents that had the potential to cause catastrophes but did not. However, instances where catastrophes are narrowly avoided offer valuable teaching moments for crewmembers. Collecting and visualizing objective performance data within a mission reconstruction tool can help commanders account for actual actions and decisions for the purpose of reporting, and also enables resilient planning and optimal execution of future tasks, because commanders are able to analyze alternative courses of action (COAs) and their trade-offs. Most importantly, having a more comprehensive analysis tool can enable more accurate and thorough training, thus improving the mission performance and operational safety of future submarine operations and performance.
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