Operator task analysis of a shipboard electronic warfare system

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Virginia Tech


The goal of this work was to evaluate an electronic warfare system from a human factors engineering perspective. The evaluation began by looking at the top-level system requirements and included a functional analysis of critical components of the man-machine interface. Once a critical operator task was identified, two separate trade-off studies provided objective data for redesign recommendations.

The first section of this work defines the operational requirements and maintenance concept for an electronic warfare system. This is the first step in defining the human interface requirements for the system.

The second section provides a brief history of the U.S. Navy's AN/SLQ-32(V) Electronic Warfare System. Although recognized as an integral part of the U.S. Navy's defense against low-flying anti-ship missiles, several incidents indicate a need for system improvement.

The next section of this work defines the AN/SLQ-32(V). The definition starts from a macro-level and, then, discusses the system to the level necessary to understand the system. The goal was to conduct and document a task analysis of the interface between the operator and the AN/SLQ-32(V). This task analysis was used as a tool to compare system redesign options.

The final section of the work involved the acquisition of information from naval operators and the assessment of existing system design features from actual and simulated Display Control Consoles (DCC). The critique of these data considered operator task requirements in actual and simulated electronic warfare scenarios. This included the time required to detect, analyze, and act-upon radar intercepts in anti-ship missile defense. From this evaluation, recommendations were developed and justified for DCC system design changes.