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Dockside Phase

A preparation dockside day is used to:

  • Brief ship's crew
  • Establish ship's centerline
  • Measure gyrocompass settled error (2-hour test)
  • Measure radar and sonar range errors
  • Install tracking, communications and data acquisition equipment
  • Calibrate a submarine periscope for use as the on-range heading reference


Click on picture to enlarge

On-Range Phase

Small surface ships can normally be tested in one day; submarines and surface ships of frigate size and above normally require two days. Tests with special requirements, such as acceptance trials, may extend over several days.

The FORACS on-board test team will include:

  • The Test Director and/or bridge engineer, who will coordinate all test activities
  • The Sonar Engineer, who will direct the data-tracking sequence
  • The Roving Engineer (one or more), who will ensure valid testing of sensors other than sonar
  • The Integrated Data Acquisition Test System (IDATS) Engineer
  • Two Optical Tracking Technicians

Ship's staff required for the test include:

  • The Liaison Officer, who provides the main communication between the ship and the FORACS team
  • Operators and data recorders for sensors being tested
  • A representative bridge team

During a typical test day, FORACS tracks the ship's position and attitude, and the ship's sensor operators track FORACS targets. Collectively, several thousand bearing and range measurements are entered into the data acquisition system (IDATS) for real-time senor error calculations. These data are also stored on diskettes for post-processing and reporting.