Operations & Support Phase
The Operations & Support phase consists of two efforts, Life-Cycle Sustainment and Disposal. The phase is not initiated by a formal milestone, but instead begins with the deployment of the first system to the field, an act that initiates the Life-Cycle Sustainment effort of this phase. The purpose of this phase is to: maintain readiness and operational capability of deployed system(s); execute operational support plans; conduct modifications and upgrades to hardware and software; and measure customer confidence. The Life-Cycle Sustainment effort overlaps the Full Rate Production and Deployment (FRP&D) effort of the Production & Deployment phase. Life Cycle Sustainment starts immediately upon fielding or deployment and seamlessly spans a system’s entire life cycle, starting with the Materiel solution analysis, to disposal.
As a follow-on effort to the previous LRAS3 work performed to develop simulation models to test the system performance in a laboratory environment for specification adherence, this same simulator, and its underlying models, was then further developed for use with the NET simulation system (see Figure 4). All functionality of the physical system was incorporated into the simulation. The total savings to PM FLIR by reusing the Government models was several millions of dollars. This savings was passed on to the LRAS3 program, which allowed the program to develop two sets of mobile training environments that support both operator and maintenance training. To date, the LRAS3 NET teams have used a combination of classroom instruction, simulator training and hands-on training to train over 2000 soldiers on the LRAS3 system. In addition to the cost savings, using the simulator has increased the amount of system training time from approximately thirty minutes per soldier on the actual system to over eight hours on the simulator. As the NET is transitioning to sustained schoolhouse training, the Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) training and maintenance simulators are being transitioned to Fort Lee, VA, and to Fort Benning, GA, to be incorporated into their training programs of instruction.
Rapid Fielding Initatives
In support of Rapid Fielding Initiatives and subsequent program development of base defense sensor systems, the NVESD MSD has developed visual, acoustic and other sensor models that replicate all current sensors and those under consideration for the Base Expeditionary Targeting and Surveillance System–Combined (BETSS-C). These models were used for test development of the individual BETSS-C sensors and their integration into the system. The BETSS-C sensor models were adapted to desk-top training simulations and are used by PM Night Vision Reconnaissance Surveillance Targeting and Acquisition (PM NV RSTA) for NET to deploying units. Figure 6 shows the actual laboratory of the BETSS-C system. The models are also being used for testing of the Sensor Ground Station (SGS). The SGS is a common ground station for the BETSS-C system. In addition, the models continue to be used for testing new SGS software and BETSS-C capabilities in live field events in support of Program Executive Office Intelligence Electronic Warfare and Sensors (PEO IEW&S). The use of these NVESD MSD M&S models and tools has been critical to BETSS-C employment in Theater as the new sensor systems and SGS are unavailable for home station training. The NVESD MSD has provided M&S solutions throughout BETSS-C development and acquisition processes.
This paper covers just a few of the many examples of how NVESD MSD provides critical information to the PM during the acquisition life cycle to positively affect cost, schedule and performance. The cost benefits when M&S is used at the very early stages of acquisition life cycle are compounded by reducing the cost of development, reusing models, and the ability to change system performance as the program matures. The NVESD MSD continues to provide M&S support to sensor PMs, and to other PMs using sensor technologies in their systems. The NVESD MSD offers Government-owned M&S models, algorithms, simulations and simulator solutions to improve development and realistic training for electrooptic, infrared, acoustic, magnetic, seismic, and ground penetrating radar systems.
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Harkrider, S., May, C., Anderson, D. & Krug, A., (2014). U.S. Army Sensors Life Cycle Acquisition With Modeling and Simulation. M&S Journal, Winter 2013-2014, pages 15-21.