A data fusion-based, multisensory detection system, called "Volume Sensor", was developed under the Advanced
Damage Countermeasures (ADC) portion of the US Navy's Future Naval Capabilities program (FNC) to meet reduced
manning goals. A diverse group of sensing modalities was chosen to provide an automated damage control monitoring
capability that could be constructed at a relatively low cost and also easily integrated into existing ship infrastructure.
Volume Sensor employs an efficient, scalable, and adaptable design framework that can serve as a template for
heterogeneous sensor network integration for situational awareness. In the development of Volume Sensor, a number of
challenges were addressed and met with solutions that are applicable to heterogeneous sensor networks of any type.
These solutions include: 1) a uniform, but general format for encapsulating sensor data, 2) a communications protocol
for the transfer of sensor data and command and control of networked sensor systems, 3) the development of event
specific data fusion algorithms, and 4) the design and implementation of modular and scalable system architecture. In
full-scale testing on a shipboard environment, two prototype Volume Sensor systems demonstrated the capability to
provide highly accurate and timely situational awareness regarding damage control events while simultaneously
imparting a negligible footprint on the ship's 100 Mbps Ethernet network and maintaining smooth and reliable
operation in a real-time fashion.