NIWC Atlantic Develops App Prototype for Navy Divers
By Maison Piedfort, NIWC Atlantic Public Affairs
CHARLESTON, SC – A Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic team recently completed an Automated Dive Profile Data Transmission and Synchronization (Auto-DPTS) prototype aimed at streamlining the dive logging process for Navy dive units.
La’Keisha Williams, NIWC Atlantic Science and Technology principle investigator, led the year-long management effort on the prototype, which attempts to transition Navy divers to an entirely digital platform for records keeping.
“Before Auto-DPTS, divers would have to log everything with paper and pen while still on the boat,” said Williams. “From there, divers would need to locate an internet connection in order to log into their Dive and Jump Reporting System (DJRS) account and enter data by hand.”
Williams’ efforts on Auto-DPTS, combined with the efforts of a contractor and the Office of Naval Research (ONR) TechSolutions, resulted in a prototype solution to provide divers with a ruggedized mobile tablet running Scuba Binary Dive Application (SBDA)-100 software.
“Metrics, such as water depth, temperature, ascent rate and other information tracked through a diver’s computer, are not easily extractable,” said Williams. “Now, with the adapters that we’ve 3D-printed, they can connect their dive computer to the tablet running the SBDA-100 software using a USB connection”.
The software’s algorithm for extracting and uploading the data into DJRS automates the post-dive process entirely. The tablet is also Common Access Card-enabled so divers can log into their DJRS account straight from the tablet when they do an automatic upload.
“We have the software development expertise and experience to take this idea straight from the divers and put it, in physical form, right back into their hands,” said Williams. “Performing effective rapid prototyping and then transitioning this technology into the hands of the fleet is a core capability of NIWC Atlantic’s science and technology department.”
To develop the Auto-DPTS prototype into a full working model, the Naval Experimental Diving Unit and the Naval Diving Salvage Training Center (NDSTC), both in Panama City Beach, Florida, are currently testing the solution in an effort to integrate the product into their divers’ day-to-day training.
“We're seeing collaborative innovation and experimentation efforts across the Navy that are really changing the way we do business,” said Scott Brodeur, FORCM Navy Diver (NDCM) for Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC).
Brodeur’s request to ONR to automate the dive logging process initiated the project in 2017. He has aided in prototype testing since.
“We now have an application that has the ability to improve processes and give us an edge on being more ready than ever to bring combat power to wherever we're asked to operate around the globe,” said Brodeur.
Testing will continue in operational environments with various dive units for the next several months. Williams and her team are currently working on certifying and accrediting the application for diver use.
As a part of Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, NIWC Atlantic provides systems engineering and acquisition to deliver information warfare capabilities to the naval, joint and national warfighter through the acquisition, development, integration, production, test, deployment, and sustainment of interoperable C4ISR, cyber and information technology capabilities.