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USCG’s Boat Crew Communication System

Prepared for Next Generation Requirements

In May 2010 the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General released a report addressing the effectiveness of the Coast Guard’s BCCS and its ability to effectively supporting maritime operations. The current BCCS was found to be a unreliable communication systems supporting Maritime Safety and Security Teams. The report cited one instance where failed communication led to a fatal boating accident by an USCG crewmember while conducting an escort of the Washington State Ferry. The USCG started exploring long-term research and development projects to identify solutions for all operational boat types. Reed Integration’s (RII) relationship with the USCG and our extensive background in Systems Engineering and Project Management made us a natural choice to help find solutions to this problem.

USCG’s BCCS required next generation requirements to bolster system reliability in supporting maritime operations. Development of requirements required Reed’s expertise to assist the USCG in managing the Electronic Systems Requirements Analysis for C3CEN’s RF Communication Division.

While a USCG crew conducted an escort of a Washington State Ferry in Puget Sound, Washington, an accident occurred that ejected the boat gunner and resulted in their death. Deemed unreliable as a communication system, the BCCS would require a next generation communication system to increase support for the Maritime Safety and Security Teams.

Effective crew communications support would require full-scale analysis, establishing priorities and managing the development of a prototypical Systems Requirements Document (SRD) using next generation BCCS as the template project. Reed Integration’s extensive background in systems engineering and project management allowed us to assist the USCG in support of their long-term research and development projects which included identifying solutions for all operational boat types.

To develop the prototypical SRD, Reed Integration’s expert system engineering techniques, based on the International Council of System Engineering (INCOSE) were used to develop the Stakeholder Questionnaire. This included:

  • System level concept of operations (CONOPS)
  • Functional architecture in Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM) format
  • Interface requirements

The resulting prototype SRD is based on proven system engineering principles, clearly stating the new operational requirements. These new requirements include current acoustical and waterproofing standards that met the USCG’s BCCS next generation requirements.

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