Modeling Mayhem


Modeling Mayhem

Imagine if the Martians in H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds had considered biological threats before expending an entire invasion fleet. It wouldn’t have gone well for us earthlings, but it would have saved an entire force that had traveled millions of kilometers. Overlooking the mayhem and chaos of the real world can be disastrous for any force.

C4ISR and cyber systems need to be fully vetted under stressful conditions that emulate actual threats and attack situations prior to acceptance.
The dawning information age, driving the world’s politics, finances, businesses and military operations, provides explosive opportunities; but to stay ahead of that explosion, users must identify the key information and associated timelines required to operate efficiently and effectively. Modeling best-case scenarios doesn’t do anyone any favors. Synthetic environments must account for realistic challenges. Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) and cyber systems need to be fully vetted under stressful conditions that emulate actual threats and attack situations prior to acceptance.

While quality Modeling, Simulation and Analysis (MS&A) takes time, talent and money, it requires far less time and funding than major system acquisition programs. It can improve our understanding of capability gaps and shortfalls, allow us to investigate new alternatives at relatively low cost, and provide insight to the power of new technology and operating concepts well before significant acquisition resources are committed and major systems are deployed.

Modeling Mayham

A Synthetic Environment that Works:

Engility, as a company, has invested in developing an ENnovation Center dedicated to creating a synthetic environment that can combine simulated and virtual entities with live test articles, including artificial intelligence (AI) engines. We now have a robust environment for the development, analysis and refinement of future defense and intelligence tools and automated decision aids. Variations of this environment have been used in multiple deployments with federal customers. This solution has served as the integration engine for confederating various operations simulations with detailed communications models and live test articles. It has also been used to evaluate the relative merits of alternative communications protocols for major defense platforms.

In creating a synthetic environment (with the proper amount of realistic chaos) we wanted to support:

  • Distributed real-time and faster than real-time operational emulation of complex missions involving all participant domains (land, sea, air, cyber and space).
  • A new CONOPS and CONEMPS using human-, hardware- or software-in-the-loop processing for verifying system effectiveness.
  • Architecture concepts that account for resource, time and knowledge constraints that may exist at any time during mission operations.
  • Evaluation against dynamic physical and cyber threats.
  • A capability to generate meaningful system and architecture performance metrics in complex missions and scenarios.
For more than a decade, we’ve been refining this simulation environment, and our Dynamic Modeling, Simulation and Analysis (MS&A) Lab is enabling technology for development and evaluation of future technologies and operating concepts. We know the importance of success for our customers, and our lab is designed expressly to address their challenges. By modeling a chaotic test environment, the performance measured and insights gained can be tested and refined by balancing new technologies against alternative CONOPS to determine how to fully exploit them. Our work helps customers get ahead of the power curve before they ever acquire and deploy new capabilities. But don’t worry…should any Martians contact us, we won’t mention flu season.

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Posted by Dr. Ken Myers and Paul Vogel

Ken is an Engility Tech Fellow and Engineering Manager in the Space Systems Group. His team provides modeling, simulation and analysis support to defense and intelligence community customers. They develop and maintain dynamic, physics-based enterprise level simulation capabilities to support system and architecture performance, effectiveness and utility studies and analyses. He is a member of the American Astronautical Society (AAS), National Space Society (NSS), Air Force Association (AFA) and an Associate Fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

Paul is a mathematician and solutions developer who has been the technical lead on the Joint Force Operational Readiness Combat Effectiveness Simulator (JFORCES) program for 30 years. He led the technical and software development of various integrated projects using modeling, simulation and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques. These projects include the Agile Networking – Component Architecture & Simulation Environment (AN – CASE) Behaviors Module and the Knowledge-Decision-Consequence Management (KDCM) simulation system. He develops and employs customized solutions to answer key operational questions within comprehensive contextual representations.