A Prototype Task Network Model to Simulate the Analysis of Narrow Band Sonar Data and the Effects of Automation on Critical Operator Tasks

Prototype de Modèle de Réseau de Tâches pour la Simulation de l'Analyse des Données Obtenues par Sonar à Bande Étroite et les Effets de l'Automatisation sur les Tâches Critiques de l'Opérateur


  1. Matthews, M.L.
  2. Bos, J.
  3. Webb, R.D.G.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN);Humansystems Inc, Guelph ONT (CAN)
This is a demonstration project to illustrate the benefits of task network modelling as a means of quantifying future changes to system design or operational concepts prior to the build stage or system implementation. The specific task environment selected for the demonstration is the process of analysing narrow band sonar data to detect and identify sonar targets, which are key tasks in building the Underwater Maritime Picture. Function and critical task analysis of existing sonar analysis practices were conducted to generate appropriate functions and tasks to be modelled. The Integrated Performance Modelling Environment (IPME) software was used to build a task network model, the essential components of which were validated by an experienced Navy sonar subject matter expert. The model was then used to assess the effects of semi-automating the critical process of sanitising ownship and Task Group sonar data from the display, by comparing system performance for baseline (manual) and automated conditions. Results showed a performance increase for the automated of approximately 30% in terms of contacts identified. This performance gain was achieved with no costs to operator workload. The prototype system developed provides core functionality to explore future “what-if” questions with respect to the redesign of sonar systems and their concept of operations.

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Sonar systems;Automation;Human performance;Simulation and modelling;Target detection;Sanitization
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-CR-2003-131 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
01 Oct 2003
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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