How to make 96,000lbs of WWII machinery into high-tech research platform

Equipment mimics movements of a large ship at sea and can be used to test radar, communications

us navy
The US Naval Research Laboratory is taking a 96,000-pound piece of World War II-era machinery and turning it into a test-bed for leading edge communications and radar applications.

The equipment was originally known as a three-axis tilting platform designed to simulate the movements of a large ship at sea.  It was built by Westinghouse in 1943 as a gun platform requiring only primitive motion in roll, pitch and yaw, according to the Navy Lab.  Specifically it was used as a mechanically operated deck with a heavy machine gun director and a machine gun mount installed. Gun crews and director operators could be trained on the platform under conditions that approximated the movements of a vessel at sea.

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The NRL said it plans to upgrade the system, now called Ship Motion System (SMS) for more high-tech operational testing in an environment simulating operations at sea. 

To use the SMS with today's high precision systems NRL requires upgrade to its control and monitoring systems with state of the art equipment. Once it is complete, the platform will be used as a ship motion platform, providing researchers with a simulation of the motion that occurs on a ship at sea.

The platform -- located in Chesapeake Beach, Maryland -- offers potential uses for researchers working in the areas of radar, tactical electronic warfare, communications, optical sciences, and remote sensing, the Navy says.

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