NRL's HAIL Technology Transitions to the Aegis System


8/1/2005 - 24-05r
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A technology developed by scientists in the Naval Research Laboratory's Information Technology Division was transitioned into the Aegis Weapon System during 2002 to 2004 and has now been successfully acquired into the Aegis Program Office. The technology, called Human Alerting and Interruption Logistics (HAIL), is an alert and interruption mediation system. It increases by 25 to 85 percent a naval warfighter's ability to perform more effectively during high rates of alert-based interruptions.

Aegis is a total weapon system with the ability to perform search, track, and missile guidance functions simultaneously with a track capacity of over 100 targets. Aegis is capable of simultaneous operation against a multi-mission threat: anti-air, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare. During the Gulf War, it was learned that alerting-based overload was one of the most serious operational problems for Aegis. Recognizing that problem, Dr. Daniel C. McFarlane conducted the basic and applied research for HAIL during 1995 to 2000 while working at NRL. He later joined Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories and served as the principal investigator for the HAIL-SS project (HAIL - Surface Ship) to develop HAIL for acquisition into Aegis. HAIL achieved the necessary technology readiness level on May 27, 2004. It has since been successfully acquired by the Aegis Program of Record, and LM Maritime Systems & Sensors, Moorestown is leading the future development. Derek Brock and Dr. James Ballas working in the NRL Information Technology Division developed new audio alerting sounds that were evaluated in sea trials of the application of HAIL for Aegis.

HAIL-SS is a reusable, open-architecture, software component that maximizes human performance during interruptions. HAIL-SS mediates between naval operators and the various mechanisms that generate alerts to them. Dr. Ballas describes it in simple terms as being, "like a secretary who knows when and how to interrupt a manager." In demonstrations and formal evaluations of the HAIL-SS system, operators were better able to manage alerts and maintain a more efficient tactical picture.

HAIL also has strong potential for future transition and acquisition into the Ship Self Defense System for deployment on aircraft carriers, the Coast Guard's Deepwater Program, Squadron C2, and the Littoral Combat Ship Program. HAIL-SS was sponsored by the Office of Naval Research and led by Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories as a Future Naval Capability under the Knowledge Superiority and Assurance Program. The HAIL-SS team included: Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories, Naval Research Laboratory, Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems & Sensors Moorestown, Computer Science Corporation, and Basic Commerce & Industries. The Aegis Program Office is currently sponsoring its acquisition.

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The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory is the Navy's full-spectrum corporate laboratory, conducting a broadly based multidisciplinary program of scientific research and advanced technological development. The Laboratory, with a total complement of nearly 2,800 personnel, is located in southwest Washington, D.C., with other major sites at the Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Monterey, Calif. NRL has served the Navy and the nation for over 90 years and continues to meet the complex technological challenges of today's world. For more information, visit the NRL homepage or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

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