A Comparative Analysis Workbench for Evaluating ISR Collection Strategies

Stouch, D.

Sensiac MSS National Symposium on Sensor & Data Fusion (NSSDF), Washington, DC (October 2011).

The Air Force is constantly 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 determine the relative strengths and weaknesses of various collection planning strategies and algorithms when multiple heterogeneous aircraft are employed simultaneously with varying sensor capabilities. We present a decision-support tool for collection managers to empirically compare ISR capabilities and approaches to employing them in layered sensing environments. We are developing an analysis tool called the ISR Constellation Visualization and Investigative Evaluation Workbench (ICONVIEW) for the Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Sensors Directorate’s Assessment & Integration Branch. ICONVIEW will perform modeling and simulation-based experiments to objectively compare collection planning strategies. A benefit of our approach is the ability to objectively evaluate how multiple ISR assets and sensors can generate data for subsequent fusion that is coordinated in space and synchronized in time for maximum effect. First, the collection planner specifies an operational scenario by providing terrain, threat, and weather information; a set of nominated collections; and sensor and platform capabilities. Next, they select and configure ISR collection strategies to generate collection plans. They then define customizable measures of effectiveness and performance to compute against the collection strategies. Finally, the collection planner empirically compares the efficacy of each collection strategy and generates artifacts to document their conclusions. Our capability demonstrates the utility of using a workbench environment for collection planners to design and run collection strategy experiments. Crafting impartial metrics enables the collection planner to focus on evaluating collection strategies based on specific military needs. Finally, the metric and collection plan visualizations provide an intuitive understanding of the suitability of particular collection strategies for different scenarios. This facilitates a more agile capability to compare and evaluate different ISR collection management strategies to keep pace with rapidly changing sensor and platform technology.

Comparative Analysis within ICONVIEW

Comparative Analysis within ICONVIEW

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