Formulation of an Integrated Robust Design and Tactics Optimization Process for Undersea Weapon Systems

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Frits, Andrew P.
Mavris, Dimitri N.
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In the current Navy environment of undersea weapons development, the engineering aspect of design is decoupled from the development of the tactics with which the weapon is employed. Tactics are developed by intelligence experts, warfighters, and wargamers, while torpedo design is handled by engineers and contractors. This dissertation examines methods by which the conceptual design process of undersea weapon systems, including both torpedo systems and mine counter-measure systems, can be improved. It is shown that by simultaneously designing the torpedo and the tactics with which undersea weapons are used, a more effective overall weapon system can be created. In addition to integrating torpedo tactics with design, the thesis also looks at design methods to account for uncertainty. The uncertainty is attributable to multiple sources, including: lack of detailed analysis tools early in the design process, incomplete knowledge of the operational environments, and uncertainty in the performance of potential technologies. A robust design process is introduced to account for this uncertainty in the analysis and optimization of torpedo systems through the combination of Monte Carlo simulation with response surface methodology and metamodeling techniques. Additionally, various other methods that are appropriate to uncertainty analysis are discussed and analyzed. The thesis also advances a new approach towards examining robustness and risk: the treatment of probability of success (POS) as an independent variable. Examining the cost and performance tradeoffs between high and low probability of success designs, the decision-maker can make better informed decisions as to what designs are most promising and determine the optimal balance of risk, cost, and performance. Finally, the thesis examines the use of non-dimensionalization of parameters for torpedo design. The thesis shows that the use of non-dimensional torpedo parameters leads to increased knowledge about the scaleability of torpedo systems and increased performance of Designs of Experiments. The integration of these ideas concerning tactics, robust design with uncertainty, and non-dimensionalization of torpedo parameters has lead to the development of a general, powerful technique by which torpedo and other undersea weapon systems can be fully optimized, thereby increasing performance and decreasing the total cost of future weapon systems.
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