Geertjan's Blog

  • May 9, 2013

Military Chemical & Biological Modeling Software on the NetBeans Platform

Geertjan Wielenga
Product Manager

The Joint Expeditionary Collective Protection (JECP) Program is part of the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense, which is the Joint Services single focal point for research, development, acquisition, fielding, and life-cycle support of chemical and biological defense equipment and medical countermeasures.

In developing a family of transportable shelter systems, the JECP provides collective protection to joint expeditionary forces and their assets. These shelter systems range from two-person passive
filtration tents to large multiperson shelters that can be combined together to provide
active filtration and internal environmental conditioning.

The objective of the JECP System Performance Model (SPM) is to model the collective protection performance of
each JECP shelter and predict the level of exposure to chemical and biological (CB)
agents experienced by personnel inside the toxic-free area (TFA). Exposure within the
TFA can occur as a result of agent infiltration through barrier materials, air locks, closures, seams, filters, and from personnel entering or exiting the TFA.

The SPM provides a cost-effective method for predicting system collective protection performance
while interacting within a complex environment, allowing users to create realistic operational scenarios. Also, the SPM improves the test and evaluation (T&E) planning
process by simulating results for testing environments that are otherwise too dangerous,
complex, or expensive to physically test.

From Leading Edge Magazine - Chemical, Biological, and Radiological Defense, April 2012, page 157: 

The approach taken for SPM development leverages the open source NetBeans application platform. This approach allows for highly modular application development while making extensive reuse of mature software components. In developing any application that has a significant number of capabilities, there are typically a large number of “boilerplate” features that must be implemented in order to make the domain-specific capabilities
accessible by the user. Many of these application components are taken for granted by most users (i.e., menus, drag and drop, cut/paste, undo/redo, open/save) but are very time-consuming to develop. The NetBeans Platform provides a large portion of these common application capabilities as reusable components. This drastically reduces the development time required to implement a new application by allowing developers to focus primarily on the domain specific capabilities instead of the "boilerplate" code.

The NetBeans Platform is an open-source framework that has been steadily maturing over
the course of almost a decade. NetBeans is most commonly known as the host environment for the highly popular NetBeans integrated development environment (IDE) which, in many ways, outperforms commercial IDEs, such as Microsoft’s Visual Studio. The NetBeans Platform provides a large set of reusable software components that allow for rapid development of highly modular applications. The workflow for developing applications that leverage the NetBeans Platform is built into its IDE, which makes constructing new applications and modules very straightforward. Because of its flexibility and maturity, SPM developers chose to implement
SPM capabilities on top of the NetBeans Platform, which affords a great deal of flexibility that can easily accommodate changing requirements and data structures.

The various models and capabilities that need to be managed by SPM can be nicely encapsulated inside NetBeans modules. Each module has well-defined interfaces that govern which portions of the module’s code are exposed to other modules. In addition, modules must specifically state dependencies on other application modules in order to access exposed classes. This ensures that all application dependencies can be quickly determined, thus providing better software maintainability.

Screenshots below, the first shows the JECP SPM interface and the second shows the JMAT Visualization Package:

The JMAT Visualization Package software allows analysts to "playback" a scenario in order to view how contaminants move externally and internally. This visualization, coupled with various reports and plots, allows the user to determine the overall performance of JECP shelters, air locks, and other components when faced with a variety of attacks, configurations, and environmental conditions.

The above and further info is all publicly available here:

http://www.navsea.navy.mil/nswc/dahlgren/Leading%20Edge/CBRD/index.html (from page 152 to 159)

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