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Muehlberg, Marc
Mavris, Dimitri N.
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As military operating environments and potential global threats rapidly evolve, military planning processes required to maintain international security and national defense increase in complexity and involve unavoidable uncertainties. The challenges in the field are diverse, including dealing with reemergence of long-term, strategic competition over destabilizing effects of rogue regimes, and the asymmetric non-state actors’ threats such as terrorism and international crime. The military forces are expected to handle increased multi-role, multi-mission demands because of the interconnected character of these threats. The objective of this thesis is to discuss enhancing system-of-systems analysis capabilities by considering diverse operational requirements and operational ways in a parameterized fashion within Capabilities Based Assessments process. These assessments require an open-ended exploratory approach of means and ways, situated in the early stages of planning and acquisition processes. In order to enhance the reflection of increased demands in the process, the integration of multi-scenario capabilities into a process with low-fidelity modelling and simulation is of particular interest. This allows the consideration of a high quantity of feasible alternatives in a timely manner, spanning across a diverse set of dimensions and its parameters. A methodology has been devised as an enhanced Capabilities Based Assessment approach to provide for a formalized process for the consideration and infusion of operational scenarios, and properly constrain the design space prior to computational analysis. In this context, operational scenarios are a representative set of statements and conditions that address a defined problem and include testable metrics to analyze performance and effectiveness. The scenario formalization uses an adjusted elementary definition approach to decompose, define, and recompose operational scenarios to create standardized architectures, allowing their rapid infusion into environments, and to enable the consideration of diverse operational requirements in a conjoint approach overall. Pursuant to this process, discrete event simulations as low-fidelity approach are employed to reflect the elementary structure of the scenarios. In addition, the exploration of the design and options space is formalized, including the collection of alternative approaches within different materiel and non-materiel dimensions and subsequent analysis of their relationship prior to the creation of combinatorial test cases. In the progress of this thesis, the devised methodology as a whole and the two developed augmentations to the Capabilities Based Assessment are tested and validated in a series of experiments. As an overall case study, the decision-making process surrounding the deployment of vertical airlift assets of varying type and quantity for Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief operations is utilized. A demonstration experiment is provided exercising the entire methodology to test specifically for its suitability to handle a variety of different scenarios through process, as well as a comprehensive set of materiel and non-materiel parameters. Based on a mission statement and performance targets, the status quo could be evaluated and alternative options for the required performance improvements could be presented. The methodology created in this thesis enables the Capabilities Based Assessment and general defense acquisition considerations to be initially approached in a more open and less constrained manner. This capability is provided through the use of low-fidelity modelling and simulation that enables the evaluation of a large amount of alternatives. In advances to the state of the art, the methodology presented removes subject-matter expert and operator driven constraints, allowing the discovery of solutions that would not be considered in a traditional process. It will support the work of not only defense acquisition analysts and decision-makers, but also provide benefits to policy planners through its ability to instantly revise and analyze cases in a rapid fashion.
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