Towards a New Symbology and Visual Interaction Design for Sub-Sea Military Operations

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In a recently published survey on visual interfaces used in military decision support systems, we identified significant gaps in implementing best practice visualization techniques. These include the unmet use of alternative micro-visualizations which take into account the domain specific requirements of military support systems. We believe this lost opportunity results from NATO military standards which do not currently account for the novel types of user interactions required to carry out certain bespoke military operations. In particular, current military standards and products, fail to appropriately consider instances where user responses at a tactical level are limited, and must be brief, non-verbal, yet still enable succinct bi-directional communication between command and tactical forces. While many such gaps exist, for the purposes of this paper we restrict our focus to examining the possibility of a new sub-sea symbology for the maritime domain, based on knowledge we developed in the EDIDP project CUIIS (Comprehensive Underwater Intervention Information System). This paper proposes extending existing NATO military standards with the creation of a comprehensive proposal for a new Sub-sea symbology and visual interaction design framework for sub-sea military operations (SSMOs). The proposed framework includes a set of semiotic communication symbols for military divers which can easily be combined based on the most common messages required for effective communication between command and military divers.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date30. May 2023
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 30. May 2023


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