An Agile Acquisition Decision-support Workbench for Evaluating ISR Effectiveness

Stouch1, D., Champagne2, V., Mow1, C., Rosenberg1, B., and Serrin1, J.

Proceedings of SPIE Defense & Security, Orlando, FL (April 2011)

The U.S. Air Force is consistently evolving to support current and future operations through the planning and execution of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. However, it is a challenge to maintain a precise awareness of current and emerging ISR capabilities to properly prepare for future conflicts. We present a decision-support tool for acquisition managers to empirically compare ISR capabilities and approaches to employing them, thereby enabling the DoD to acquire ISR platforms and sensors that provide the greatest return on investment. We have developed an analysis environment to perform modeling and simulation-based experiments to objectively compare alternatives. First, the analyst specifies an operational scenario for an area of operations by providing terrain and threat information; a set of nominated collections; sensor and platform capabilities; and processing, exploitation, and dissemination (PED) capacities. Next, the analyst selects and configures ISR collection strategies to generate collection plans. The analyst then defines customizable measures of effectiveness or performance to compute during the experiment. Finally, the analyst empirically compares the efficacy of each solution and generates concise reports to document their conclusions, providing traceable evidence for acquisition decisions. Our capability demonstrates the utility of using a workbench environment for analysts to design and run experiments. Crafting impartial metrics enables the acquisition manager to focus on evaluating solutions based on specific military needs. Finally, the metric and collection plan visualizations provide an intuitive understanding of the suitability of particular solutions. This facilitates a more agile acquisition strategy that handles rapidly changing technology in response to current military needs.

ICONVIEW User Interface

ICONVIEW User Interface

1 Charles River Analytics
2 Patch Plus Consulting

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