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Aptima Develops Software to Estimate Crew Size

Aptima Develops Software to Estimate Crew Size

Aptima Develops Software to Estimate Optimal Crew Size in Navy Ships, Helping Reduce Lifetime Cost of Vessels

STAMPS simulates ship operations, modeling tasks and human performance for naval designers

Woburn, MA, June 10, 2013 – The cost of a ship’s crew is the single largest expense incurred over its life cycle. How can the U.S. Navy reduce the cost of ship’s manpower to fit its shrinking budgets?

To help the Navy solve that challenge, Aptima is partnering with Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA) to develop STAMPS, the Simulation Toolset for Analysis of Mission, Personnel & Systems. STAMPS simulates ship systems and crew operations, allowing naval designers to define the crew size and skill set early in the design process. Aptima’s $2.6 million subcontract to ARA will produce a crew modeling module for the larger STAMPS system. That system, developed for the Office of Naval Research (ONR), is part of a Navy initiative to reduce the total operating costs of vessels over their lifetime, right-sizing personnel for a new generation of ships built with advanced technologies and automation.

“The bulk of a ship’s total lifetime operating costs–up to 90%–are locked-in by decisions made in design.* This contract reinforces the Navy’s dedication to controlling those costs with accurate manpower planning in every milestone phase,” said Jared Freeman, Aptima’s Chief Scientist.

Using STAMPS, acquisition managers and naval designers will be able to integrate humans systems early in the design process to assess the most cost-effective mix of personnel, hardware, and software systems. The design of legacy ships, in contrast, has typically focused first on the detailed engineering of the ship infrastructure, with manpower estimates that are rougher or later than those decisions.

STAMPS in Action

STAMPS simulates not only a ship’s electro-mechanical and weapons systems, but also models the personnel required for its operations, including the number and type of crew, and the specific skills needed in different scenarios.

In the design of a new class of destroyers for example, a pipe bursts in the chilled water system might produce a cascade of problems, from flooding to overheating computing systems. STAMPS models that process, and Aptima’s crew model will measure human performance in the scenario. This will allow designers to assess whether a given mix of personnel with specific skills, such as mechanics, are sufficient to respond to the failure. STAMPS output could lead designers to revise the manpower plan or re-design the ship’s chilled water system to meet performance goals.

“The beauty of STAMPS is that it will computationally model the interaction of humans and systems on long and complex missions. It will do so fast enough to accelerate the design of new vessels while it improves decisions about the most expensive and valuable asset aboard ship: the human crew,” said Dr. Freeman.

STAMPS is expected to help the Navy save money over the long term through better staffing and reduced manpower costs. This contract continues Aptima’s history of computationally modeling human performance in military organizations, including the Navy, Air Force, and Joint Forces.

* Statistics courtesy the General Accounting Office Report to Congressional Requestors (Navy Actions Needed to Optimize Ship Crew Size and Reduce Total Ownership Costs)

About Applied Research Associates, Inc.

Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA) is an international research and engineering company recognized for providing technically excellent solutions to complex and challenging problems in the physical sciences. Our mission is to provide in-depth and diversified research, engineering, and technical support services. We have a broad range of technical expertise in defense technologies, civil engineering, computer software and simulation, systems analysis, environmental technologies, and blast testing and measurement. We also provide sophisticated technical products for environmental site characterization, pavement evaluation, and specialized robotic vehicles.