To prepare for the acquisition of a new fleet of Littoral Mission Vessels (LMV) for the RSN, DSTA set up a naval analytical laboratory to support the study of new concepts, and the evaluation of workflow performance in the early phase of acquisition.

To achieve lean manning for the LMV, the main operating centres of the ship, which include the Bridge, the Combat Information Centre (CIC) and the Machinery Control Room (MCR), were co-located at the Integrated Bridge-CICMCR (IBCM). This new design to centralise the crew at the IBCM will facilitate sub-team activities and interactions and streamline work processes for the crew.

Working jointly with the RSN, DSTA conducted Cognitive Task Analysis studies to analyse the workload and operator performance in the IBCM. As part of the studies, the team developed the naval analytical laboratory, leveraging Modelling and Simulation (M&S) technologies with combat management system prototypes and emulated combat systems to provide an IBCM setup in the laboratory.

In developing the laboratory, two key innovations were implemented to deliver a more realistic experience for RSN crew. The team harnessed existing M&S technologies to deliver 360-degree out-of-window views for the IBCM of the new vessel, giving operators a realistic and immersive experience. To accommodate other platforms in the future, the team adopted virtualisation and zero-client technologies, enabling the laboratory to be configured quickly with minimal movement of computers and rewiring. With this laboratory, DSTA and the RSN have an enhanced capability in evaluating new configurations and workflow for future naval platforms.