Leonardo has been awarded a contract by the Commonwealth to deliver Information Management software to the Collins-class submarines.
The ‘Submarine Communication Information Exchange Management’ (SCIEM) contract falls under the Project Sea 1439 Phase 5B2 upgrade program. Leonardo will be providing its SmartIDMSTM software application, designed and manufactured in the UK, that will allow crews to upload and download data when the submarine connects to a network.
Like most military vessels, submarines share information over computer networks. However, because they spend a great deal of time deep underwater, they are cut off from their networks for long periods. To stay in touch, a submarine must rise to periscope depth in order to join the network and exchange data with the outside world.
Another key advantage of the system is that other network users will see a virtual submarine that is always present on the network
SmartIDMSTM optimises this process by intelligently choosing which information to send and receive first and which can wait, for example prioritising operating orders over personal emails. Different rules can be pre-set for different missions, so that during peacetime, for instance, improving crewmember morale can be easily achieved by raising the priority of welfare communications with their friends and families.
According to Leonardo, SmartIDMSTM provides significant improvements in the capabilities of any communications network. The most obvious, for submarines, are the effective management of information dissemination and the bandwidth optimisation, resulting in time and cost savings of typically over 80 per cent.
Another key advantage of the system is that other network users will see a virtual submarine that is always present on the network, even when it is disconnected, allowing them to seamlessly move data onto the submarine which will then be synchronised when the real submarine re-connects to the network.