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1. REPORT DATE 

30 SEP 1999 

2. REPORT TYPE 

3. DATES COVERED 

00-00-1999 to 00-00-1999 

4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 

METOC Human-System Interaction Improvement 

5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 

5b. GRANT NUMBER 

5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 

6. AUTHOR(S) 

5d. PROJECT NUMBER 

5e. TASK NUMBER 

5f. WORK UNIT NUMBER 

7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES) 

Naval Research Laboratory,Monterey,CA,93943-5502 

8. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION 

REPORT NUMBER 

9. SPONSORING/MONITORING AGENCY NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES) 

10. SPONSOR/MONITOR’S ACRONYM(S) 

11. SPONSOR/MONITOR’S REPORT 
NUMBER(S) 

12. DISTRIBUTION/AVAILABILITY STATEMENT 

Approved for public release; distribution unlimited 

13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 

14. ABSTRACT 

15. SUBJECT TERMS 

1 

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16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: 


a. REPORT 

unclassified 


b. ABSTRACT 

unclassified 


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unclassified 


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18. NUMBER 
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19a. NAME OF 
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Standard Form 298 (Rev. 8-98) 

Prescribed by ANSI Std Z39-18 





METOC Human-System Interaction Improvement 


Ted Tsui 

Naval Research Laboratory 
Monterey, CA 93943-5502 

phone; (831) 656-4738 fax; (831) 656-4769 email; tsui@nrlmrv.navy,mil 
Award #; N0001499WX30449(B) 
http ;//stratus .nrlmry.navv.mil 


LONG-TERM GOAL 

Contribute to the understanding and improvement of the information flow from METOC system to the 
forecasters and to the warfighters. Of particular interest is the METOC information flow in the 
STRIKE warfare area. 

OBJECTIVES 

Develop a prototype information interaction system to create a more efficient system for METOC 
personnel to present concise tactical weather information to the warfighters. Exploit new cognitive 
research ideas for the purpose of improving the METOC human-system information flow to the 
warfighters. 

APPROACH 

Use iterative development to achieve a prototype system that will improve the process of forecasting 
for tactical operations. The successive builds will be refined each time through testing. In order to 
describe the path of the “effective” METOC information flow, initially, we are concentrating on the 
STRIKE WARFARE scenario. Develop TAMS/RT visualization product for the STRIKE warfare 
folders; test the usefulness of the product with the users. The development of these visualization 
products depends on understanding not only the METOC forecasting and warfighter needs, but also 
understanding the cognitive processes involved in forecasting and the role of visualizations in these 
cognitive processes. 

WORK COMPLETED 

Conducted workflow experiment design meeting (May 19-20, 1999). Carried out the workflow 
experiment at NPMOF San Diego (July 26-30, 1999). Developed an observational methodology that 
was tested in a series of five separate experiments at the Naval Pacific Meteorological and 
Oceanographic Facility (NPMOF), San Diego. The methodology used included hand written notes, 
computer generated notes with specific categories of task versus time, videotaping, focus group 
sessions, and electronic copies of “chat” sessions and of presentations. In addition, “ground truth” data 
were collected at strike location (NPMOD Whidbey Island) to “verify” the forecast. The methodology 
was developed to help identify METOC data, information, processes, tasks, and the utilization of 
visualization by METOC forecasters to support air strike. 




RESULTS 


The designed observation methodology was applied to a series of experiments where teams of 
forecasters, working in a simulated carrier METOC office (CV-METOC), attempted to provide a 
METOC briefing package for pre-strike mission planning session. Videotapes, hand-written notes, and 
real-time task recording programs were all successfully implemented in this experiment. The results 
showed that the observation methodology was proven successful and validated. 

STRIKE scenarios in the experiments had few mesoscale requirements. When there was a need for 
mesoscale information, forecasters did use the TAMS/RT product. However, the usage was still 
synoptic in nature (e.g. examining the 200mb chart). Eor future experiments, the STRIKE scenario 
will be concentrated on the mesoscale details to force the forecasters to seek mesoscale information. 

Eorecasters spent a lot time on “instrumentation” tasks (from 25% of time to 60% in one case). The 
instrumentation time means that they are spending their time on working with file or windows 
manipulations, not on their assigned task. The 25% is “normal”, but 60% is very high. This figure 
gives the indication that a cognitive system can bring improvement to the METOC information flow. 

IMPACT/APPLICATION 

The observation methodology used in this year’s project was very successful and will be used in the 
future experiments. One of the observations in our experiment is that METOC forecasters receive very 
few customer feedbacks. In the future experiments, we will have to reach the users directly to include 
their feedbacks in our observation methodology. Another issue that was brought out by the experiment 
was the METOC personnel training. One of the observations was that some of the METOC forecasters 
did not fully utilize what TAMS/RT can provide. 

TRANSITIONS 

None 

RELATED PROJECTS 

The TAMS/RT Project (N0001499WX30120) is closely related to this project. All visualization 
products to be tested will be produced from the TAMS/RT visualization suite. The eventual METOC 
tactical information product to be placed in the tactical folders will be integrated in the TAMS/RT 
product suite as well. 

REFERENCES 

None. 

PUBLICATIONS 


None.