Simulation key to team dynamics

This article has photo gallery Published on Department of Defence (author)

Location(s): Edinburgh

Topic(s): Training, HMAS Watson, Ships, Boats and Submarines, Unmanned/Remote Systems

Royal Australian Navy members participate in Experiment Sky Kraken, a study to monitor team interactions during MTUAS operations. (photo: Unknown)
Royal Australian Navy members participate in Experiment Sky Kraken, a study to monitor team interactions during MTUAS operations.

Royal Australian Navy personnel have taken part in Experiment Sky Kraken, a study to monitor team interactions during Aerial System operations.
In a completely simulated environment, the integration experiment was conducted at Defence Science Technology Group in Edinburgh, South Australia, and supported the SEA129 Phase 5 Maritime Tactical Uninhabited Aerial System project.
Sixteen Navy participants formed four different experiment teams comprising a mixture of Combat System Operators, Aviation Technicians and Maritime Warfare Officers that tested several different crew layouts with the experiment investigating the capability provided by location of the team relative to command.
The simulation controls and environment were developed by a team of modelling and simulation designers to support the experiment and provide realism to the teams as they controlled a fictitious aerial system (nicknamed the Sky Kraken) around the ocean.
The lab was setup with a command space replicating a Navy bridge, an operations room and a ground control station.
Susan Cockshell lead the experiment and data analysis and said the experiment was a key activity in the study to identify the advantages and disadvantages of different levels of integration for the System.
“It is not the objective of this experiment to assess the competence of participants but to conduct scenarios with different crew layouts so we can evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the relative location of personnel to each other,” she said.
The experiment was the first of two that have been planned with this one concentrating on a conceptual offshore patrol vessel conducting boarding operations, the second experiment will focus on aerial system involvement on warfare tactics within a task group.
Seaman Combat System Operator Nathan Smith from HMAS Watson was excited to be involved in the experiment and to experience something a bit different.
“The scenarios were very intense and I was very busy the entire time but it was great to be involved,” he said.
Each participant role was very demanding, where they were given a high workload that required concentration over several hours in order to stress interactions between the team.
The second experiment planning is currently underway and expected to be conducted early 2018.