The U.S. Navy Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport NATO Naval Forces Weapon and Sensor Accuracy Check Site (FORACS) Sensor Accuracy Test (SAT) team recently executed a successful test on the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), the lead ship of a new class of aircraft carriers.
The test was conducted in two phases, a dockside test at Norfolk Naval Base in Virginia and an at-sea test at the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC) in the Bahamas. The test evaluated the bearing, range and heading accuracy of shipboard sensors such as radars, sonars, gyrocompasses, electronic warfare systems, electro-optical/laser tracking systems and navigation equipment.
Since this class of vessel had not been tested before, a ship check was conducted one year in advance to determine how to set up test equipment, which systems to test, where they were located on the ship and to establish points of contact. Naval Sea Systems (NAVSEA), the parent organization of Division Newport, mandates sensor accuracy tests of this type for all new construction vessels.
“The expertise and professionalism of the dozens of ship’s force personnel aboard CVN 78 who supported data acquisition and planning, particularly the systems test officer, was amazing,” said test director Mark Gelzinis of Division Newport’s Ranges, Engineering and Analysis Department.
“Their support was invaluable to the success of this sensor accuracy evaluation. The success of the test also proved the value of beginning the planning process as early as possible, maintaining detailed documentation through the planning process and involving the right people from the earliest stages.”