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SED Research Area:
Analytical Methodology Development and Special Studies in Operations Research

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Most of SED’s projects involve the development of custom tools and methodologies to support the project analysis, but researchers sometimes conduct separate, often internally-funded, efforts to develop analytical tools and methodologies with cross-cutting applicability across projects, or to explore special topics using operations research techniques. Some selected recent SED projects are briefly described below along with the publication year of the associated report.

  • Operations Enduring Freedom & Iraqi Freedom Planning Factors — IDA conducted projects for the Center for Army Analysis and the Joint Staff on exploiting operational data from Afghanistan and Iraq for U.S. Army planning and force development.  We correlated coalition actions and other factors with security indicators to determine which factors – such as the ratio of counterinsurgent forces to the national population, or the number of counterinsurgency bases and their effectiveness – can be used to predict the effectiveness of counterinsurgency operations and thereby aid the planning of future overseas contingency operations.  (2015, 2016)

    Modeled Target Accessibility as a Function of NIIRS Value
  • IDA conducts analyses of airborne and space-based intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems to assist the Department of Defense in choosing, for example, the optimal platforms and sensors for the planning scenarios being considered.  To do so, IDA has developed and runs the IDA Sensing Effectiveness Evaluator (ISEE) simulation.  We employed a spiral development process in which the model’s capabilities were expanded to accommodate sponsor needs.  The figure depicts a notional scenario and shows ISEE’s determination of whether targets are accessible at the required National Imagery Interpretability Rating Scale (NIIRS), a subjective scale of image quality.  The colors on land correspond to the NIIRS achieved from an aircraft traveling on the pink-line orbit, and the colored lines emanating from the aircraft correspond to the NIIRS they achieve with respect to the specific targets shown.

  • The efficiently assigning intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft orbits in alternative environments project developed a modeling tool for optimizing aircraft orbits for ISR missions. (2012) 

  • chart circle to parabola trajectoryA spacecraft in orbit can use its propulsion system to increase its velocity and thereby change to a higher-altitude orbit. The accumulated velocity change for the spacecraft is the total velocity change imparted during the elapsed propulsion time. For a spacecraft under continuous thrust undertaking a minimum-time, multi-revolution change of orbit, the accumulated velocity change is approximately equal to the difference in initial and final orbital velocities. For non-circular orbits, the value of the accumulated velocity change must be determined numerically. The figure shows an example of orbital maneuver optimization in which a spacecraft starts on a circular orbit and ends on a trajectory with a parabolic escape velocity. (2013)

  • The estimating the semi-major axis of elliptical orbits project compared the use of the batch least squares technique to the extended Kalman filter technique for estimating spacecraft orbital parameters from kinematic observations. (2013)
  • The linear programming methodology for overhead imagery collection project developed a three-step, linear programming-based methodology for optimizing the collection capacity of overhead imagery collection systems. (2013)
  • The orbital maneuver optimization using time-explicit power series project developed a new set of equations for optimizing the orbital maneuver transfer time for spacecraft without using numerical optimization methods. (2012)
  • The incorporating air warfare concepts into the Dedicated Integrated Air and Missile Defense Simulation (DIAMDS) project added engagement-level and mission-level air-to-air warfare modeling improvements to SED’s DIAMDS force-on-force air and missile defense model. (2012)
  • The analytical framework for evaluating tradeoffs between naval capabilities project identified metrics and models for determining the relative contribution of ship classes to the various naval warfare capabilities in the context of different missions in order to facilitate trade studies between different ship classes. (2014)