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NCSOSE Contract Produces Specialized Naval Engineers - and a Special Issue of System of Systems Engineering Journal

Engineering faculty members at Old Dominion University's National Centers for System of Systems Engineering (NCSOSE) have worked for more than a year with the U.S. Navy on training and application of a methodology to explore radio frequency information exchange in an aircraft carrier strike group.

The system of systems (SoS) engineering work has produced 16 naval engineers and technicians certified in SoS engineering and a real-world application, with recommendations for improving the conduct of readiness evaluations for carrier strike groups. The training and application are consistent with NCSOSE's approach of finding systemic approaches to complex SoS problems in the real world.

The Navy is very satisfied with the work, the result of one of several contracts awarded to NCSOSE, an enterprise center of ODU's Batten College of Engineering and Technology. One of those contracts is a $2.4 million, sole-source award to conduct hands-on SoS engineering certification training in Norfolk and Charleston, S.C., with the Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic (SSC-LANT).

The work done for the carrier strike group by the Old Dominion researchers, in conjunction with the SSC-LANT class, has found its own academic audience as well. NCSOSE researchers, SSC-LANT class members and ODU students have authored a special issue of the International Journal of System of Systems Engineering (IJSSE), a publication of Inderscience Publishers.

The IJSEE board is composed of researchers from around the world, but the journal's editor is Adrian Gheorghe, Batten Endowed Chair of engineering management and systems engineering at ODU.

"This is a significant accomplishment for our researchers, and for NCSOSE," said Chuck Keating, professor of engineering management and NCSOSE director. "It's a recognition of the research expertise here, and of our desire to be at the forefront of the emerging SoS engineering field."

Coordinated by Kevin MacG Adams, principal research scientist at NCSOSE, the special issue features 10 articles written by participants in the ODU-U.S. Navy carrier strike group project. They range from introducing the reader to a Navy strike group and how it is defined as an SoS, to outlining the approach NCSOSE took to improve communications methodology, to lessons learned during the study.

The final paper is a summary of the SoS engineering field, and presents the prospects and challenges facing the emerging field of system of systems engineering. Gheorghe and Thomas Conrad, retired chief engineer of the Naval Underwater Warfare Center at Newport, R.I., wrote the introduction for the journal.

The special issue can be accessed at: http://www.inderscience.com/browse/index.php?journalID=184&year=2011&vol=2&issue=2/3.

The work continues with SSC-LANT as well. A new cohort of naval engineers, technologists and technicians - half in Norfolk, half in Charleston - is working its way through NCSOSE training seminars, in keeping with the ongoing goal of providing more Navy employees versed in SoS engineering principles and applications.

The Navy personnel are divided among two locations, but an influx of technology to NCSOSE headquarters at Innovation Research Park @ ODU means they can work together, using high-definition video conferencing, a service that NCSOSE can now provide to its clients anywhere in the world.

As an enterprise center of ODU's Batten College, NCSOSE draws together academia, government and industrial organizations to resolve problems, develop technologies and direct research concerning major issues in the design, analysis and integration of complex system of systems.

This article was posted on: August 17, 2011

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