IDA Systems and Analyses Center
IDA’s Systems and Analyses Center, the largest of our FFRDCs, consists of eight research divisions whose work focuses on a broad range of issues spanning diverse disciplines.
Our work involves assessing technology feasibility, performance, producibility, demonstrations, and development risks. IDA also assists our sponsors in developing technology strategies, plans, standards, and investment priorities as well as assessing the domestic and international implications of trade and technology cooperation, plans, and controls.
IDA’s research program reflects both focus and diversity. In any year, IDA SAC’s Divisions’ effort is spread across more than 300 projects. The level of effort per project varies from quick-reaction work completed over a handful of weeks, to multi-year projects that engage over 20 researchers.
Major research program areas include:
- Evaluations of strategic and tactical systems
- Test and evaluation of defense systems
- Command, control, and communications assessments
- Application of new technologies
- Information technology assessments
- Modeling and simulation
- Strategy and force assessments
- Cost and resource analysis
- Industrial resources
Learn more about the SAC research program.
IDA’s Systems and Analyses Center consists of the following eight research divisions:
Cost Analysis and Research Division
Dr. David J. Nicholls, Director
CARD estimates the full life-cycle costs of acquiring defense systems and undertakes tasks that advance the state of the art of weapons system cost estimation. The division also undertakes a wide variety of projects that involve costing issues or concerns with resource allocation mechanisms in federal agencies.
Information Technology and Systems Division
Dr. Margaret E. Myers, Director
ITSD supports the Department of Defense as it focuses on protecting our freedom to operate in cyberspace while denying our adversaries the same advantage. Cyber is a dynamic domain: DoD’s dependence on cyberspace continues to grow, information technologies are increasingly sophisticated and widely available, and the threat is constantly evolving. Effectively advancing DoD interests in cyber requires a broad range of technical, policy, organizational, and operations skills. IDA’s researchers leverage their diverse experiences and expertise to help our sponsors advance the network and information capabilities required to assure the Department’s missions.
Intelligence Analyses Division
Mr. Richard Porterfield, Director
IAD supports the Department of Defense and the intelligence community by providing analyses of critical intelligence issues affecting national security.
Joint Advanced Warfighting Division
Mr. James L. Johnson Director
Developing analyses and analytic capabilities of direct and immediate use to frontline warfighters, JAWD helps joint military force commanders stimulate innovation and breakthrough improvements. Applying expertise in such disciplines as physics, mathematics, engineering, political science, economics and history, the division develops warfighting concepts, conducts evidence-based analyses of kinetic and non-kinetic capabilities and operations, and designs and supports joint force experiments. JAWD researchers create complex simulations, collect and analyze lessons from recent operations, develop advanced training and education concepts and study means of most rapidly delivering high-utility resources to combat forces needing them most urgently. The division also hosts the Analytic Projects Office of the Defense Department’s Joint Advanced Warfighting Program – active-duty military force members with recent operational experience who contribute to the division’s work.
Operational Evaluation Division
Mr. Robert D. Soule, Director
OED supports the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the planning, observation, and evaluation of Service and defense agency operational tests of major new weapon systems and the Live Fire Tests of the lethality and vulnerability of weapons and platforms. The division also supports the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, and the Combatant Commands in evaluating military deployments and operations, and in developing, integrating, and improving the interagency mission planning process.
Science and Technology Division
Dr. Leonard J. Buckley, Director
STD researchers investigate and model scientific phenomena and conduct technical characterizations and evaluations of devices and systems to assess the limits of performance available in their operational environments and the mission capability they provide. The division also conducts technology assessments critical to research and development programs, acquisition decisions, technology planning, and technology proliferation.
Strategy, Forces, and Resources Division
Mr. Michael Dominguez, Director
SFRD performs integrated, interdisciplinary studies of plans and policies related to national security strategy, the structure and capabilities of U.S. and foreign forces, and the infrastructure supporting U.S. forces. The division also assists in streamlining government organizations, management systems and processes.
System Evaluation Division
Dr. Steve Warner, Director
SED assesses military force effectiveness, system performance, and joint and allied interoperability. It also examines mission needs, develops system architectures, performs system-of-systems analyses, investigates new operational concepts, and assesses the risks and costs that accompany technological integration. These studies help sponsors choose among competing systems, set force or inventory levels, and identify suitable concepts for employing systems.