Integration, Testing, and System Evaluation THE DARO REALIZES THAT INTEGRATION of new capabilities into legacy and emerging UAV systems presents a demanding challenge to the efficient management of scant resources in today's environment. The need to provide decision-makers with facts on which to base program choices is a driving force on testing processes that are less expensive and better predictors of a system's operational contribution on the battlefield. This leads to the last part of this topic, MS&A. This area of research is paced by the development of more powerful computing devices that can handle larger, more complex simulations dealing with a host of variables that play a part in the performance and effectiveness of weapon systems. The Joint Technology Center and System Integration Laboratory (JTC/SIL) was activated in February 1994, at the Army Missile Command's Redstone Arsenal, AL, to support the Hunter UAV program. This facility provides a site where new technology components can be inserted into a tactical UAV system for demonstration and assessment. In addition, a central database for UAV lessons-learned and test results is available.
Common Automated Recovery and Landing System (CARLS). CARLS will provide a capability potentially for all tactical UAVs. It uses a millimeter-wave tracking radar to provide air vehicle position data for automated recovery of the UAV. This process is designed to minimize the risk of operational mishaps and reduce operator training costs.
The CARLS airborne beacon weighs 3.5 pounds, and its ground tracking subsystem weighs 200 pounds and is about 3 feet high. It is difficult to jam, minimizes multi-path effects, and precludes antenna blockage.
CARLS equipment is being purchased directly from the Sierra Nevada Corporation as Government Furnished Equipment for the Pioneer and the three-phase JT UAV-CARLS Integration Program. We plan to integrate CARLS initially into the Pioneer System; funds have been allocated for this effort. CARLS will then be phased into the Hunter UAV program to ensure takeoff and landing safety for both the ground and shipboard variants. In addition, we will make CARLS an objective capability for the Maneuver UAV system. This will ensure that the Maneuver UAV shares as much commonality as possible with the Hunter program. Testing is a key process, whether our UAVs are being acquired under DoD 5000-series directives or under the newer ACTD approach. As ACTDs may transition directly to production -- bypassing a formal Milestone II and full Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase -- the test community must be involved early. This will provide the necessary expertise and discipline to answer all technical and operational questions, while fulfilling Title 10's testing provisions without compromising the ACTD.
Early in 1994, the DARO asked the Defense Evaluation Support Activity (DESA) to assist in the process definition and unbiased evaluation of the Endurance UAV ACTDs. (DESA was chartered in July 1990 by the Deputy Secretary of Defense to provide planning, test support and evaluation capability to Defense-wide activities under the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition)). The two directors signed a Memorandum of Agreement in May 1994 that designated DESA as the DARO's agent for endurance UAV ACTD evaluation.
Similarly, the conventional acquisition strategy for Hunter relies on testing to assure the effectiveness of off-the-shelf components integrated into a system that must meet C4I infrastructure commonality and interoperability objectives as well as performance-based operational requirements. The DoD-5000 process has been modified to emphasize integrated product teams (IPTs), "stake-holder" participation and early testing to identify problems and facilitate operational acceptability.
Finally, UAV platforms may also be used to test maturing subsystems and their technologies. For example, the Pioneer UAV was tested in April 1995 with a surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensor, which can be used against chemical agents. The DARO has formed an exercise and demonstrations branch to develop and enhance overall awareness, oversight and involvement concerning the use of reconnaissance in selected exercises, demonstrations, and ACTDs. This approach will facilitate support for:
The ACTDs and other future exercises will provide similar inputs toward the objective of supporting the warfighter. The DARO has designated the Director, Air Force Modeling, Simulation and Analysis (AF/XOM) as executive agent for the MS&A of all DoD manned and unmanned airborne reconnaissance assets. The Air Force Studies and Analysis Agency, as its agent, has developed an MS&A plan that focuses on those assets planned for development or replacement through the year 2010. The objective is to optimize constructive, virtual and live MS&A to enable programmatic, architectural and advanced development decisions, as shown below.
- Planning and execution of tests and exercises in conjunction with the responsible executive agent, the Joint Staff, the test and evaluation organizations and the users, in order to collect and provide data for analysis and application to airborne reconnaissance system development, and to gain user system acceptance. For example, as part of a TACAIR- Tomahawk integrated strike exercise this fall, the Navy has invited Hunter, Pioneer and Predator to provide target identification information and BDA for the Tomahawk cruise missile.
- Demonstration of improved capabilities and mission utility of airborne reconnaissance systems (vehicles, sensors, data links, data relays, and processing systems) against validated operational requirements. As mentioned previously, we have planned a Fall-1995 user demonstration of Hunter and Predator to fully exercise these systems under representative field conditions, to demonstrate both their individual utility and their complementary abilities to meet warfighters' reconnaissance needs.
- Management of ACTDs and standards compliance. As noted, we now use DESA for all our ACTD testing support.
- Architecture development, program planning and resource guidance useful for DARP inputs to the Planning, Programming and Budgeting System. For example, during 1995 alone, the MAE UAV ACTD helped to determine the optimal technical approach for endurance UAVs as a class, and to flesh out their CONOPS. We have collected imagery and operating data from numerous exercises and deployments (e.g., Roving Sands and Bosnia in 1995 alone). These data and experiences affirm the system's mission utility and provide the basis for further system and operational improvements, and for transition to production and integration into the operational force.
The cornerstone of the DARO MS&A effort is the Air Force's Theater Battle Arena (TBA). Located in the Pentagon, the TBA is a node on the Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) network that connects ARPA, the Army's Battle Labs and the Navy's R&D centers, as well as the Air Force's modeling and simulation agencies. ARPA is using its War Breaker facility to support the CONV and LO HAE ACTDs. MS&A activities are also being worked with the Central Imagery Office (CIO), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).
|C4I||=||Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence ||ISR||=||Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance|
|COEA||=||Cost and Operational Effectiveness Analysis ||MRC||=||Major Regional Conflict|
|DIS||=||Distributed Interactive Simulation ||MTI||=||Moving Target Indicator (radar)|
|HITL||=||Human-in-the-Loop ||QQT||= ||Quantity, Quality, and Timeliness|
|IMINT||=||Imagery Intelligence ||SAR||=||Synthetic Aperture Radar||SIGINT||=||Signals Intelligence |