The number of sub-systems and systems that can be tested at NATO FORACS has grown continually over the years. Currently it includes, but is not limited to, fire control and surveillance radars, sonars, Electronic Support Measures (ESM), Antenna Radiation Patterns (ARP) (especially important when operating ship's boats in a Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO) or counter-piracy role), periscopes, navigational systems, lasers and a Link-11 capability. Parameters that can be measured include bearing, range, geospatial, timing, and frequency accuracies, utilizing both static (alongside) and dynamic (underway) checks. Data capture and analysis facilities have enabled systems analysis to evolve, thereby permitting testing of significant portions of the combat system as an integrated whole.
The ship's general plans are used during the dockside phase to determine the location of each sensor on-board the ship relative to the FORACS reference point. A theodolite aligned to the centerline of the ship tracks an optical target ashore to provide a measurement of ship's heading to better than 0.03 degrees depending on weather conditions. From the measurements above, the x-y location and orientation of each shipboard sensor are calculated.
Accuracies of shipboard GPS and other navigation systems are tested against the data (approximately 1 meter) generated by the FORACS tracking systems.
Model of FORACS Targets
Installation of a FORACS Acoustic TargetClick on picture to enlarge
NATO FORACS Norway Range Buildings and Dockside Facilities