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Naval Research TechSolutions Moves Aircraft Launch Bulletins Into Digital Age

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS110218-15

By Geoff Fein, ONR Corporate Strategic Communications

ARLINGTON, Va. (NNS) -- Flight crews responsible for launching aircraft had the opportunity to test and evaluate the Catapult Capacity Selector Valve (CSV) Calculator Jan. 27 aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75).

The Catapult Capacity Selector Valve (CSV) Calculator, Office of Naval Research (ONR) TechSolutions effort to move paper tables onto handheld devices, could eventually eliminate the need for paper-bound launch bulletins.

The capacity selector valve is used to set the energy level needed for a launch on an aircraft carrier. Calculations are based on aircraft type, weight and wind speed, among other variables. All that information is contained in a loose-leaf notebook, and crews must manually look up the data to determine the energy level for each launch.

Launch bulletin updates are e-mailed to the ship from Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), and Sailors have to print, than put them into the notebooks by hand.

"(Now) instead of relying on the book, the launch bulletins are stored in the calculator, and they are updated automatically," said Stephanie Everett, ONR's TechSolutions program manager.

The ruggedized Catapult CSV Calculator will fill a technology gap, and is expected to increase efficiency and safety, while also reducing wear on catapult machinery. The calculator also performs automatic error checking.

"There will be a final project assessment before it goes to the fleet," said Everett.

The purpose of the final assessment is to verify that the device is usable under operational conditions, and to verify that it produces the same results as the paper tables.

The goal is to eventually outfit all Nimitz-class carrier flight deck crews with the calculator. During testing, the device will be used in parallel with paper notebooks to verify the electronic calculations, said Master Chief Charles Ziervogel, ONR's command master chief, who oversees TechSolutions.

"The calculator is not yet certified for use by itself," said Ziervogel.

The request for an electronic replacement for the paper launch tables came to TechSolutions from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash., in April 2009.

ONR selected NAVAIR Lakehurst, N.J., and New Jersey-based Specialty Systems to develop the calculator. The transition sponsor is NAVAIR Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment (PMA 251).

TechSolutions accepts recommendations and suggestions from Navy and Marine Corps personnel on ways to improve mission effectiveness through the application of technology. For more information about TechSolutions and to submit suggestions, Sailors and Marines can visit the department website at or email ideas to

The Department of the Navy's Office of Naval Research (ONR) provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps' technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 70 countries, 1,035 institutions of higher learning and 914 industry partners. ONR employs approximately 1,400 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel, with additional employees at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C.

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