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A Feasibility Study Using Scenario Methodologies on Future Unmanned Aerial System Capabilities

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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This thesis demonstrates the feasibility of using computer-aided wargames CAW as a tool to help determine high-level system requirements for future reconnaissance-capable unmanned aerial vehicles UAVs. This research uses a model-based systems engineering MBSE approach to establish high-level capability requirements and concepts of operations for the future fleet. Unmanned aerial vehicle design factors in this study include mission altitude, sortie size, and time between launches. Measures of effectiveness MOEs delineate which of these factors, or factor combinations, best enhances enemy high-value unit HVU detection while minimizing UAV losses in theater. The thesis utilizes Joint Theater Level Simulator-Global Operations JTLS-GO as the modeling environment and applies regression tools and visualization techniques to communicate model outcomes. While all three design factors affect the MOEs, results from the model suggest that UAV altitude has the most prominent impact on the MOEs. High altitudes decrease HVU detections but also lower UAV attrition, illustrating potential trade-offs that can be applied to an operational context. The interaction of the number of UAVs with this altitude points to a concept of operations. Swarms of low-altitude UAVs tend to have greater success with detecting HVUs while keeping a relatively low percentage of losses.

Subject Categories:

  • Pilotless Aircraft
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Computer Programming and Software

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