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Test and Evaluation of Highly Complex Systems

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I have been working in Army test and evaluation TE since 1974 and have seen enormous increases in the complexity of systems since I first started in the business. Systems in 1974 were largely stand-alone, analog, and mechanically controlled. Now to conduct and win the next major conflict with a conventional enemy or against violent extremist movements, previously unimagined systems are being developed and fielded to our warfighters. The complexity of these new systems is a result of addressing todays and tomorrows threats with more accurate, lethal, reliable, survivable, interoperable, and maintainable systems. Most of todays systems are very software intensive and network enabled, and have on-board, complex subsystems. The complexities that often arise are a result of the interactions among the systems and subsystems, and as a result, they cannot be tested and evaluated in isolation. These systems are vital enablers that assist the warfighters in accomplishing their missions. These new systems are often a system of systems SoS on a single platform such as the mine-resistant ambush-protected MRAP vehicles or a family of systems such as the Future Combat Systems FCS and the Stryker family of vehicles. The Army Test and Evaluation Command ATEC uses a number of processes and best practices to TE SoS and FoS per the policy and guidelines directed in the June 2007 Office of the Secretary of Defense Section 231 Report. Some of the challenges for the command in implementing the guidance found in the Section 231 Report are to maximize the use of mission-based test and evaluation, Modeling and Simulation MS, joint and distributed testing, reliability growth testing, and determining system interoperability subsystem, system, and with multiple systems. This article discusses a few of these challenges.

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  • Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering and Control of Production Systems
  • Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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