Original Date: 08/10/1998
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Carrier Operations Analysis
Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC), Lakehurst’s Carrier Analysis Laboratory is a unique research facility that develops, analyzes, evaluates, documents, and archives data associated with the satisfactory operations of naval aircraft on surface ships. This secure, 3,300 square-foot laboratory simulates the layout of actual ships, aircraft, weapons and other support equipment (SE) (Figure 2-2), and provides shipboard aircraft operations problem-solving support to the Fleet. Using large layout boards, overhead cameras, scaled (1/96th) ship plans and aircraft templates, networked computers, and extensive CAD files, the laboratory offers solutions and/or alternatives to operational problems created by a new airwing composition, an inexperienced aircraft handling crew, a task force, or other changes that impact the operations of a ship.
Fleet personnel initiate the Carrier Operations Analysis process by sending a message to NAWC, Lakehurst with a proposed visit date and a description of the desired support. Once the visit is approved, preparatory research is initiated by NAWC, Lakehurst including setting up the layout board to show the flight deck, hangar bay, and air wing arrangement of the visitor’s ship. The visitors (e.g., aircraft handling team, ordnance handlers, maintenance personnel) meet with NAWC, Lakehurst personnel in the Carrier Analysis Room. Solutions are proposed, evaluated, and discussed by the participants. The overall process involves drawing reviews; computer model generation and animation; overhead digital photography of various template board layouts; and successful solutions used by sister ships. Once the participants agree on an acceptable solution, NAWC, Lakehurst assembles a complete technical package for the Fleet personnel which details the results, including a set of digital photographs and computer prints documenting the evolution; a transcript of the required sequence of aircraft movements; and spreadsheets quantifying the proposed ship layout.
NAWC, Lakehurst estimates a cost savings of 99.2 manhours and $3,840 per study for its Carrier Operations Analysis process. The turnaround time for a study is one-and-a-half days, compared with three days using the previous method (e.g., 35-mm camera shoots, outside laboratory for film processing, cut and tape method for documenting, delivery to ship). Future plans consist of continuous upgrading of the computer system, photography acquisition, peripheral equipment, application software, and direct technology transfer to on-board Fleet operators.
Figure 2-2. Overhead View of a First Go
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