Title: A simulation model for the analysis of end-to-end support of unmanned aerial vehicles

Authors: Mahyar Amouzegar, John Drew, Robert S. Tripp

Addresses: College of Engineering, California State University, Long Beach, CA 90840, USA; RAND Project Air Force, 1776 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90407, USA. ' RAND Project Air Force, 1200 South Hayes Street, Arlington VA 22202, USA. ' RAND Project Air Force, 1200 South Hayes Street, Arlington VA 22202, USA

Abstract: The role of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and time-critical targeting in operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom confirmed their utility in US combat operations. However, because of an acquisition strategy intended to field UAVs as quickly as possible, the Air Force did not go through the usual processes of determining system requirements before design and production. These processes typically reveal important information about how to support aircraft systems. Without this information, the requirements for long-term, end-to-end support of UAVs are unclear. In this paper, we present an analysis of support options for current US Air Force UAV systems, including the Global Hawk, Predator, Pointer, Raven, Force Protection Airfield Surveillance System (FPASS), and Battlefield Air Targeting Camera Autonomous Micro-Air Vehicle (BATCAM), as well as, the Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV). There is a trade-off between the need to field aircraft quickly and the need to determine logistics requirements. We have developed a new analytical tool, logistics implications capabilities assessment model (LICAM), that could help logisticians examine such trade-offs. LICAM simulates changes in fielding, operations, and support and evaluates how they affect a key operational metric, the ability of the UAVs to cover the target area.

Keywords: simulation; unmanned aerial vehicles; UAVs; UAV support; military logistics; air force combat support; US Air Force; logistics requirements; logistics capabilities; target area coverage; aircraft systems support.

DOI: 10.1504/IJADS.2010.036101

International Journal of Applied Decision Sciences, 2010 Vol.3 No.3, pp.239 - 258

Published online: 19 Oct 2010 *

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