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Home : Media : News
NEWS | Jan. 11, 2024

NSWC Crane Electro-Optics Technology experts leverage NSIN X-Force tool to enhance basic research analysis

By Sarah K. Oh, NSWC Crane Corporate Communications

A Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) employee led a team of students to build an artificial intelligence tool that helps researchers, scientists, and engineers make informed decisions. The tool provides a way to efficiently search and analyze research publications across federal, academic, and industry laboratories.   

The students participated remotely as part of the National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) X-Force 2023 Fellowship, which completed in early August. The X-Force Fellows developed the tool for the Electro-Optics Technology Division at NSWC Crane to scan for research publications, providing the technical teams with more information to conduct basic research projects.  

X-Force Fellows involved in the project said enjoyed the process. 

“Participating in the X-Force Fellowship with NSWC Crane was invaluable, offering me a deep dive into the fields of software development and research,” said Aaron Kim, an undergraduate student at Texas Agricultural and Mechanical (A&M) University who worked on the project. “Knowing that our work directly contributes to the research direction at NSWC Crane was incredibly fulfilling. This fellowship was a great opportunity where personal skill development goes hand in hand with making a meaningful impact.” 

The Fellowship provided students the opportunity to have broad impact.  

“Working in the federal space allowed me to maximize my impact, and the NSIN Fellowship did not disappoint,” said C. Denq. “The scope, budget, and freedom were liberating, as it allowed both Aaron and me the opportunity to carefully experiment with different solutions that had a tangible impact on federal governance and research.” 

Dr. Gregory Forcherio, a Scientist at NSWC Crane and Project Sponsor for the tool, says the project has been a great way to quickly gather research-related data and findings online.  

Network visualization from the tool showing the relationship of key terms across a range of research publications. “The students’ efforts delivered a software tool that webscrapes data from scientific publications and applies natural language processing algorithms to infer the who, what, when, how, and most importantly we hope, the future, about research projects in supporting optical sensors and computer vision technologies,” said Dr. Forcherio.  

Research publications contain a wealth of knowledge that can be a source for broad impact, such as on scientific communities of interest and future project funding. It is important for Navy Principal Investigators (PIs), who manage research projects, to be up-to-date on academic publications—but that can be difficult given the volume and pace of information available. The X-Force webscraping project provides Navy researchers an additional tool to make inferences from a large volume of data.  

Along with scraping for a list of research publications, the tool also provides statistics about the research.  

“This software developed by the students provides new business tools with embedded data analytics to roadmap technology development of infrared sensors and strategize initiation of new research programs,” said Dr. Forcherio.  

Dr. Forcherio said the X-Force program gives NSWC Crane a way to reach students in new ways. 

“The NSIN X-Force program has historically been a great avenue for Navy scientists and engineers to form multidisciplinary teams of strong students from across the country,” said Dr. Gregory Forcherio. “It provides them an opportunity to advance Navy research initiatives while gaining work experience in a federal laboratory.” 

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 Electromagnetic 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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