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Enabling Collaboration and Visualization of Complex Operational Technology Computer Networks With Augmented Reality Technology

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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Operational Technology OT networks are critical to mission operations on many naval platforms, yet it is often difficult to effectively communicate their status and engage in efficient decision-making at all levels of operation. While the complexity of networks has increased, visualization methods suiting the needs of a diverse set of users have not kept up. To address this problem, this research evaluated whether visualization, provided to a small group of operators acting in a shared work environment on network management, can be supported using commercial off-the-shelf, lightweight, portable augmented reality AR technology. The work included building a prototype AR OT network on a U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer DDG three-dimensional model with four decks and simulated interconnected ship systems. We then designed and implemented a network infrastructure between a set of Hololenses, and built an application that allowed multiple users to collaborate by viewing the same virtual model in a real-world space setting. A study tested the system interfaces usability and its value in network management scenarios. The results suggest that a lightweight AR system, with an interface that supports small-team collaboration, could be a valuable tool for increasing situational awareness in cyberspace and allowing effective team decision-making.

Subject Categories:

  • Computer Systems

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