The US Navy’s performance in Electronic Warfare (EW) is critical in its ability to maintain awareness in the current geo-political/military environment. High fidelity training, focused on maintaining on-board EW systems, is vital in ensuring submarine crews have the knowledge to sustain optimal equipment conditions to satisfy their assigned tasking when called upon. The AN/BLQ-10A(V)2 Maintenance Simulation System is designed to significantly improve the fleet’s knowledge and skill in maintaining the AN/BLQ-10 while reducing the reliance on Technical Training Equipment (TTE) and the associated costs and manpower requirements.
The simulation is organized and presented in a 3D view, modeling the actual layout of the AN/BLQ-10A(V)2 system on a 688-class submarine. This presentation approach provides a more realistic view of the system and allows students to become familiar with the physical location of the equipment. The rack-mounted system drawers can be pulled out to access the internals, take readings, check indications, as well as remove/replace Lowest Replaceable Units (LRUs) as needed for fault troubleshooting, repair, and system restoration.
The simulation has a modular design that models the components of the AN/BLQ-10A(V)2 system to the level of the LRU. Components within the system communicate with other components only via defined Input/Output objects that replicate the interface of the actual hardware components. This allows students to see the ripple-down (3rd and 4th order effects) caused by faults or their own actions. The simulation supports the removal and replacement of components consistent with the actual hardware. Additionally, new components, or new subsystems, can be integrated into the existing simulation by connecting their inputs and outputs to existing system components.
Although the simulation itself can be run in a standalone environment, another powerful part of this simulation system is the Courseware Management Website, which communicates with the simulation to capture and log student actions and inputs, providing the instructor with a real-time method of monitoring student scenario progress. Longer term, class-to-class, statistics and metrics can also be generated to assess the trends in student performance, as well as opportunities to improve the simulation functionality and effectiveness.
Scenarios developed include initialization commands, faults, and indications that the student must check, controls the student must operate, and associated feedback. As the student progresses through a particular scenario, the simulation logs the actions taken and evaluates performance. Furthermore, modeling of the actual system allows the student to branch outside of the troubleshooting procedures, providing the student and instructor with added training opportunities.
The significance of the AN/BLQ-10A(V)2 Maintenance Simulation System to the fleet is that the Warrior will better understand the system and be better prepared to maintain it. Delivering a high quality training product, using simulation, in lock-step with the acquisition efforts helps to (1) more rapidly identify engineering fixes that may be required to facilitate improved maintainability of equipment and (2) reduce equipment readiness problems that are primarily attributable to poor understanding and training. There are multiple ways to apply this technology in order to produce better systems for our Warriors, to maintain those systems at a greater level of readiness, and to increase the fleet personnel’s level of knowledge so they can better operate and maintain the USW systems.
The design of the AN/BLQ-10 simulator allows future enhancements that could significantly alter both EW training and maintenance. An improvement planned will create a function that allows instructors to navigate to and fail a component, thereby creating scenarios for students as required. Alternately, instructors or technicians could adjust the simulation to mirror the current indications on their system. The simulation would then be able to list possible faults that could result in the applied system configuration. The result would be a versatile troubleshooting tool that could be used on-board or by shore-side personnel to assist in diagnosing a problem.