GREAT LAKES (NNS) -- Students graduating from Electronics Technicians (ET) and Fire Controlman (FC) "A" school Oct. 20 trained on the radar simulator partial task trainer (PTT) at Center for Surface Combat Systems Unit (CSCSU) Great Lakes.
Over the past year students have been utilizing the new system after a complete overhaul of the equipment.
The modernization of the PTTs provided systems that more closely resemble those found aboard current ships in the fleet greatly enhancing the course for Electronics Technicians (ET) and Fire Controlman (FC) "A" school students.
"Bridging from the old AN/SPS 64 system to the AN/SPS-T1 lab allows us to mimic the current technology available in all ships," said Electronics technician 2nd Class Ric Chartier, instructor at CSCSU. "It also allows Sailors to interact with the system as if it were a fully functioning onboard radar. The most direct change has been overall efficiency. For each bay in the old lab, we would have to replace good components with bad components for troubleshooting. Now we just input an issue through our instructor's computer for the students to troubleshoot."
With the ability to change faults over a network verse physically switching components allows student to have more time to work with the equipment and troubleshoot the equipment so they get a better understanding of what they need to know in the fleet.
The PTT is also able to be updated. Personnel have the ability to make changes and upgrade systems allowing the Navy to keep pace with emerging technologies in the industry and allow Sailors to be better prepared when they arrive to their next assignment.
"Training at CSCSU teaches Sailors basic operation principles needed to troubleshoot the equipment and make necessary repairs," Chartier said. "The new PTT are a replica of the general components you would find across almost all Radar systems. This provides transparency when accession level students are selected for a Navy Enlisted Classification Code or "C" school for specific radar systems."
For any radar system, high voltages are required to generate the power necessary to transmit and receive signals that can be converted into good video of contacts. In a computer generated system the potential voltages are there but the current they are being sent at is greatly reduced to create less potential for shock.
"With simulated signals the potential for injury and damage to the equipment is lessened," Chartier said. "Current of the signals in the system is lowered so the students can see the correct voltages and waveforms safely. Lastly, the PTT is modeled after the systems that are currently used in the Fleet. The older AN/SPS-64 has been fading out of use over time and is now obsolete. Just like any high end education you want to train on the newest, most up and coming equipment to be ready for what's ahead."
Another benefit is by having the ability to generate faulty signals for troubleshooting by the click of a button there is no need to have an extensive inventory of faulty circuit cards and components that overtime must be kept and maintained.
"The benefits of the PTT are unlimited," Chartier said. "We have a safe system that costs less and, by having simulated voltages and faults; we have a wider range of faults we are able to present to the students, giving them a better grasp of what they might encounter in the fleet. Ultimately the PTT gives the real feel of a full system, giving the trainee the ability to show competency in the system."
According to Cmdr. Scott Dancer, commanding officer of CSCSU Great Lakes, sees no downside to the system.
"Since T-1 implementation the feedback from student critiques has been overwhelmingly positive," Dancer said. "They want more lab time and more faults to troubleshoot. The T-1s provide us the means to get the students the reps and sets they need to build confidence and reinforce radar theory, the six step troubleshooting process, test equipment use, safety fundamentals, 3M, and Combat systems operational sequencing system. The ability to inject faults via a network connection reduces parts support requirements and lab set up time. This equates to increased lab and instructor availability to train students."
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