L3Harris has long been at the forefront of developments for damage control and damage management on board ship, and has never ceased to improve the product and develop new ways to enable the ship’s crew to effectively manage emergencies on board.
Our state-of-the-art Battle Damage Control System (BDCS) allows operators to plot damage on the ship’s General Arrangement Plan (GAP). It offers unrivaled ease of navigation, using familiar navigation methods of “rubber band” selection. The real power of the BDCS is its unique ability to use layering to declutter pages. There is only one GAP page in isometric view and one in 2D view, and all of the information necessary to obtain the status of the ship is available on that one page. The key to easy navigation is that the information is presented in layers. As the operator drills down or zooms into the page, more and more information becomes available.
The complete integration of the BDCS with the IPMS reduces operator workload and improves damage control efficiency by the direct interaction of the systems. On flood detection, automatic sequences can quickly and easily isolate compartments. In an NBC event, positive citadel pressure can quickly and easily be achieved with automatic sequences. Similarly, a fire can be readily identified and prevented from spreading by automatically isolating the ventilation system and closing automatic fire doors.
While the level of functionality of our BDCS is unrivaled, and the ease of navigation completely unique, our research and development team is always seeking ways to further improve the system and help the ship’s crew be the most effective.
The large screen display which can be used to display any IPMS mimic page, but normally displays the ship general arrangement plan also serves as a digital electronic incident board known as the Interactive Incident Board Management Station or I²BMS. This can be regarded as a full damage control console. The console has, as its principles of operation, touch screen input using a pointing device, finger or even gloves if the operator is wearing anti-flash gear. In our studies, it is important to the task of damage control never to lose sight of the general arrangement plan of the ship. Therefore, the largest portion of the screen always displays the ship’s general arrangement plan, while smaller areas or can be customized to display other information like kill cards or IPMS mimic pages.
For example, if a fire is reported in a compartment, the operator would select the fire symbol, and open the related kill card page. The kill card would not open on the main portion of screen, but rather on one of the smaller screen areas.
Although text input is rarely required for damage control purposes, a stowaway keyboard is available for text input, and handwriting and / or voice recognition allows text to be input directly on the screen.
In addition, whereas plotting symbols consistent with the navy’s traditional symbology are normally used to plot damage from a plotting palette in the top left corner of the BDCS page, free draw plotting is also available. In this way, the BDCS can act as a digital representation of the traditional Incident Board (or State Board).
One of the layering features available on all BDCS applications is the ability to turn system layers on or off. This is particularly helpful when displaying complex ship systems like the fire main system or the chilled water system. The BDCS also offers plotting against a specific layer. If damage is sustained to the chilled water system, and a patch pipe is required to maintain system viability, the repair and information can be plotted directly on that specific layer, and will not clutter other operators’ view by displaying it on all layers.
An “Advice” mode is also available for operators to plot without broadcasting what they draw to all users. This is particularly useful for briefing and debriefing damage control exercises.