Current Practice in Mission Planning in the Canadian Navy and Opportunities for Automation


  1. Hammond, T.R.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Atlantic Research Centre, Halifax NS (CAN)
This paper reviews current practice in mission planning within the RCN, and identifies opportunities for automation and decision support software. Tasks best suited to automation follow established procedure and have a repetitive character, especially one that could induce lapses in human attention. Tasks best left to humans are unique or require consideration of core values or priorities. Every naval mission is unique, when considered as a whole, but when the planning process is broken into distinct portions, as in this paper, numerous tasks suitable for automation by the above criteria emerge. Many of these tasks could leverage tools created in the project planning community. Many could leverage geographical information system tools and navigation software. Many could incorporate models of sensor and communications performance, and many could leverage tools for modelling vehicle movement. Statistical techniques for representing uncertainty, both in measurements but also in intended movements, are highly relevant. It has also been suggested that there could be an appropriate role for Track Suggestion in mission planning. Commercial shipping companies are already using Track Suggestion algorithms to route their ships around inclement weather and so save on fuel. Track Suggestion will not find quite as significant a role in naval mission planning, largely because naval missions have more complex goals, but it is not without niche applications. Overall, mission planning should

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Mission Planning;Track Suggestion;Weather Routing;Environmental Prediction
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2017-R022 — Scientific Report
Date of publication
01 May 2017
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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