5
Discussion and Summary

ROLE OF THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY IN MINE WARFARE

The research community has an important role to play in support of mine warfare by improving the understanding of coastal oceanic processes, including the physics of light and sound propagation in nearshore areas; developing quantitative oceanographic models; and developing advanced environmental measurement capabilities. Advances in these areas will provide the warfighter with the capability to predict oceanic changes, process vast amounts of data, and output these data as parameters useful for mine warfare planning and tactical decision making. The academic and engineering communities can also enhance mine warfare operations through advances in database development and data transfer technologies. Advances in data management techniques will enable complicated datasets to be used effectively and efficiently while also providing data processing capabilities. Wireless data transfer will enable real time processing of in situ environmental data transferred from mine countermeasure (MCM) vessels to the Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO). The research community can also support mine warfare operations through the development of advanced training techniques to increase the quality and efficiency of oceanographic training for mine warfare operators.

Continued dialogue between naval operators and academic scientists is essential to ensure that researchers are aware of the current needs and capabilities of the mine warfare community. This symposium provided a unique opportunity to facilitate interaction between these two groups and jointly identify specific research challenges. Immediate results were seen through increased and enhanced cooperation between symposium participants and mine warfare operators.

Broadening interactions among academic scientists, operational scientists, and members of the operational Navy is also an important role for the Office of Naval Research (ONR). Programs to facilitate this interaction include the Secretary of the Navy/Chief of Naval Operations Oceanographic Research Chair, ONR Institution Scholar, Naval Science Assistance Program, Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, Young Investigator Program, Summer Faculty Research Program, Faculty Sabbatical Leave Program, Multi-disciplinary Research Program of the University Research Initiative (URI), Defense University Research Instrumentation Program, and the Defense Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. Details of these programs can be found in Appendix F and on the ONR Web page (ONR, 1999).



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Oceanography and Mine Warfare 5 Discussion and Summary ROLE OF THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY IN MINE WARFARE The research community has an important role to play in support of mine warfare by improving the understanding of coastal oceanic processes, including the physics of light and sound propagation in nearshore areas; developing quantitative oceanographic models; and developing advanced environmental measurement capabilities. Advances in these areas will provide the warfighter with the capability to predict oceanic changes, process vast amounts of data, and output these data as parameters useful for mine warfare planning and tactical decision making. The academic and engineering communities can also enhance mine warfare operations through advances in database development and data transfer technologies. Advances in data management techniques will enable complicated datasets to be used effectively and efficiently while also providing data processing capabilities. Wireless data transfer will enable real time processing of in situ environmental data transferred from mine countermeasure (MCM) vessels to the Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO). The research community can also support mine warfare operations through the development of advanced training techniques to increase the quality and efficiency of oceanographic training for mine warfare operators. Continued dialogue between naval operators and academic scientists is essential to ensure that researchers are aware of the current needs and capabilities of the mine warfare community. This symposium provided a unique opportunity to facilitate interaction between these two groups and jointly identify specific research challenges. Immediate results were seen through increased and enhanced cooperation between symposium participants and mine warfare operators. Broadening interactions among academic scientists, operational scientists, and members of the operational Navy is also an important role for the Office of Naval Research (ONR). Programs to facilitate this interaction include the Secretary of the Navy/Chief of Naval Operations Oceanographic Research Chair, ONR Institution Scholar, Naval Science Assistance Program, Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, Young Investigator Program, Summer Faculty Research Program, Faculty Sabbatical Leave Program, Multi-disciplinary Research Program of the University Research Initiative (URI), Defense University Research Instrumentation Program, and the Defense Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. Details of these programs can be found in Appendix F and on the ONR Web page (ONR, 1999).

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Oceanography and Mine Warfare ENVIRONMENTAL PARAMETERS AND THEIR IMPORTANCE TO MINE WARFARE Oceanographic parameters having the greatest impact on mine warfare operations were discussed in Chapter 4, which also outlined specific research issues and proposed solutions arising from symposium and steering committee discussions. A theme of these solutions is the need for enhanced predictive modeling capabilities for a wide range of oceanic processes that will greatly enhance the warfighter's ability to turn vast amounts of oceanographic information into knowledge used to control battlefield operations. The development of accurate and reliable models will be difficult due to the complexity of nearshore environments. Consequently, research on the nature of coastal zone processes should be encouraged and the results of this research should be applied toward quantitative descriptions of shallow water oceanography. In addition, the usefulness of model and database outputs will be greatly enhanced by real-time, 3D, graphical representations of oceanographic data. This ''virtual oceanography'' will provide the mine warfighter with the ability to visualize and manipulate environmental data in a more intuitive manner than is currently possible. This capability will greatly aid in mine warfare operational planning. Other important issues related to oceanographic data and mine warfare that were noted during the symposium and in steering committee discussions were: The physical interaction of sound and light with the water column and seafloor provides the basis for developing powerful mine hunting tools. Despite this, there is still much work to be done to increase the fundamental understanding of these interactions in the shallow-water environment. In particular, enhancing the ability to measure and understand the propagation of high frequency (5 – 500 kHz) sound in the sediments typically encountered in coastal regions will lead to technical advances in underwater sensing systems to enable better mine detection. There is a significant need for signal processing enhancements for both optic and acoustic data. These enhancements will help maximize the amount of environmental information obtained from the large optic and acoustic datasets currently being collected. The ability to predict seafloor character and bathymetry may, in many instances, be greatly aided by a consideration of the structure and stratigraphy of onshore sequences. The development of databases containing information on regional geology could prove useful in the prediction of bathymetry and seafloor type in the Surf Zone and Very Shallow Water settings. TRAINING ISSUES The theory and practice of mine warfare is often omitted from the educational experience of the active duty Navy. Furthermore, there has been limited development of minefield theory since the end of World War II. Minefield theory is concerned with processes that provide information on the preferred geometry and density of a minefield, taking into account a given range of environmental conditions, threat characteristics, mine capabilities, and MCM characteristics. To ensure continued U.S. Naval control of the coastal zone, it is important that mine warfare theory develop along with technical advances in mine warfare operations. The maintenance of an adequate state of readiness in mine warfare demands integrated research activities, technological development, procurement, and training. Presently, a large portion of operational capabilities and experienced mine warfighters remain in the Naval Reserve Force. This not only creates logistical difficulties, as mine warfare expertise is often far from areas of conflict, but also makes it difficult to incorporate mine warfare operations into training exercises (Hartmann and Truver, 1991). Mine warfare training should be considered equally with more traditional branches of naval warfare, as the ability of naval forces to operate freely in the coastal zone is dependent on their ability to rid the battlefield of emplaced mines. Because of the importance of oceanic variability for mine warfare operations, the Navy should be committed in its efforts to ensure that the mine warfighter has access to advanced environmental techniques and the training required to operate, interpret, and maintain this technology. As MCMs evolve from dedicated to a mix of organic and dedicated forces, MCM training must also evolve. This will ensure that both forces are able to use environmental information being collected to better control battlefield operations.

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Oceanography and Mine Warfare DOCTRINE Current MCM doctrine has changed little since World War II despite rapid changes in the technological complexity of mine warfare operations. Presentations and discussions at the symposium and during the writing of this report noted the need for significant changes in current doctrine (NWP 3–15). Continued increases in the use of highly specialized and complex technology for mine warfare operations, and the greater availability and reliance on large environmental datasets, make it essential that mine warfare doctrine be continually adapted, evaluated, and altered to keep pace with these rapid changes. CHALLENGES FOR MINE WARFARE High environmental variability in the coastal zone imposes formidable challenges to the mine warfighter. Recent naval documents, such as "Concept for Future Naval Mine Countermeasures in Littoral Power Projection: A 21st Century Warfighting Concept" (Rhodes and Holder, 1998), have acknowledged the need for mine warfare forces to stay on the cutting edge of environmental data collection, assimilation, and processing. Characterizations of nearshore environments require the collection of multiple high-resolution datasets. Coastal variability also makes it difficult to develop and use predictive models for mine warfare mission planning. Previous symposia in this series identified common shallow water oceanographic needs of other branches of the operational Navy, such as the capability to predict coastal atmospheric conditions and sea state for strike warfare (NRC 1992, 1996a,b) and the need to understand nearshore environmental dynamics for coastal anti-submarine warfare, amphibious operations, and special warfare (NRC, 1992, 1994, 1997). These common needs illustrate the wide-ranging benefits of basic and applied oceanographic research in areas relevant to mine warfare. Enhanced capabilities resulting from this research would benefit a broad spectrum of end users in the fleet. SUMMARY OF OUTCOMES Specific outcomes of symposium and steering committee discussions include: Training Issues - To ensure that oceanographic data collected by NAVOCEANO and MCM forces can be converted into knowledge useful for the mine warfighter, naval operational staff must receive appropriate training. This training should provide the warfighter with an in-depth understanding of oceanographic processes and the capability to interpret oceanographic data and determine environmental influences on mine warfare operations. Doctrine - Sedimentary parameters are currently the main input to mine warfare doctrine. Thus, battle-field decisions are made without the use of high-quality oceanographic datasets being collected by NAVOCEANO and MCM forces. To ensure that battlefield decisions accurately represent prevailing environmental conditions, current doctrine should be updated to use a wider range of environmental data and robust statistical information. Data Collection and Database Capabilities - The expansion of naval operational focus in shallow water environments necessitates that the naval meteorologic and oceanographic community continue to develop methods for rapid collection of high-resolution environmental data. These data are essential for characterization of the high-variability in these environments. High-volume data collection will require continued advances in database capabilities to enable production of oceanographic products tailored to mine warfare needs. Modeling Capabilities - Continued development and enhancement of quantitative predictive models to describe coastal zone oceanographic processes will provide the mine warfighter with enhanced mission planning capabilities. Modeling advancements will require a concerted research effort that focuses on needs specific to the Navy and will provide a significant challenge for shallow water oceanographic research. There is little doubt that the capacity to project naval strength into the coastal zone is dependent on the ability to operate where mines may be present. Because of the importance of oceanic variations for mine warfare operations, the warfighter must be able to collect environmental data and compare these data to historical data; the tools and

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Oceanography and Mine Warfare training must also be available to interpret and characterize the oceanic environment from this information. The sixth Ocean Studies Board (OSB) symposium on tactical oceanography successfully identified areas where advances in environmental science and technology will strengthen and enhance the Navy's mine warfare capabilities. The symposium also examined the present state of knowledge and the environmental predictive capability relevant to mine warfare. The outcomes of the symposium and the research will help the naval meteorological and oceanographic (METOC) and mine warfare communities improve U.S. mine warfare capabilities.