CRANE, Ind. –Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division’s (NSWC Crane) Electro Optics (EO) subject matter experts (SMEs) have supported a critical situational awareness system for Navy ships since its inception in 2017. NSWC Crane serves as the in-service agent to the I-Stalker system, which replaced an older technology.
Karole Trump, the Maritime Platform Wide EO Systems Project Lead at NSWC Crane, works on the AN/SAY-3 Sensor System, or I-Stalker program. The I-Stalker program is a Rapid Deployment Capability (RDC) for a fleet Urgent Operational Needs (UONs) to support the safety and defense of ship operations and Navy capital assets.
Trump says the electro-optical I-Stalker system adds clarity in observation and identification of contacts or other maritime features on the visual horizon and elimination of blind spots.
“The I-Stalker system provides a unique opportunity to enhance the ship’s ability to capture video for distribution and increase situational awareness capability utilizing newer, infrared technology,” she says.
Trump says the I-Stalker system is critical to providing sailors situational awareness so they can safely navigate the ship.
“The I-Stalker provides 24/7 surveillance imagery, aiding the operator to provide situational awareness to support determination of intent for both own-ship and own-ship deployable assets that can be applied to counter surface and airborne threats,” she says.
Trump says I-Stalker provides tactical advantages against a wide variety of threats.
“It provides the fleet with threat recognition, identification, and intent and multiple threat and swarm differentiation, and tracking in radar denied environments such as weather, electromagnetic interference (EMI), and jamming, and passive threat tracking to maintain readiness and avoid rules of engagement conflicts.”
Karole Trump was awarded the Navy Civilian Service Commendation Medal, which is the fourth highest Navy Civilian award, in October for her dedication to service for this project.
The I-Stalker team at Crane also won a Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS) Excellence award. The award was in recognition of the first two installations for the I-Stalker Sensor System onboard CVN72 USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (Norfolk, VA) and CVN76 USS RONALD REAGAN (Yokosuka, Japan) for overcoming risk and tight deadlines.
“An RDC is a fast-paced program that requires teamwork and coordination across each area to ensure a successful completion to each install,” she says. “In an industrial area, this installation typically takes more than 90 days to complete. Our team executed the installations within 45 – 60 days.”
She says there were significant obstacles they had to overcome for the initial installation.
“Funding is limited on an RDC, making it challenging to develop sustainment requirements that a Program of Record would have had time to develop prior to fielding a system,” says Trump. “Upfront planning is vital to the fleet to support sustainment considerations that are integrated into planning early on, through production, fielding and ultimately through disposal. An RDC has fewer resources for advanced planning in the design and integration into the fleet. It takes teamwork, good communications and innovative thinking to execute this program.”
About NSWC Crane
NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with mission areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi- spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today's Warfighter.
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