Evaluation of an OPNET Model for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Networks
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING AND MANAGEMENT
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Over the last few years, there has been an explosion in the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles UAVs in military operations, as well as civilian and commercial applications. UAV Mobile Ad Hoc Networks are fast becoming essential to conducting Network-Centric Warfare. As of October 2006, coalition UAVs, exclusive of hand-launched systems, had flown almost 400,000 flight hours in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. This document outlines our experience with implementing a statistically validated network model that emulates UAV network behavior during flight, using a leading simulation tool. Ultimately, there is a great need for a simulation environment that provides the capability to evaluate several aspects of networked UAVs, in lieu of large test-beds or costly flight testing. These simulations are designed to understand the characteristics and essential performance parameters of the delivered model. A statistical analysis is performed to explain results obtained, and identify potential performance irregularities. A systemic approach is taken during the preparation simulation phase to avoid producing misleading results.
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