SYSTEMS ARCHITECTING AND ENGINEERING

Our team, comprised of physicists, engineers, and operations researchers, designs, develops, and tests systems so that they work, work well, and work for a long time! ExoAnalytic Solutions has vast experience with various defense and space system concepts, systems of systems, families of systems, concepts of operations (CONOPS), and concepts of employment (CONEMPS). Our Architecting Process was developed to provide quantitative, physics-based analysis to support acquisition decisions.

EXOANALYTIC ARCHITECTING PROCESS

We employ the ExoAnalytic Architecting Process (EAP) as a framework for integrating data, intelligence information, statistical and quantitative analysis, explanatory and predictive models, and fact-based management to drive actionable solutions and recommendations to address space community needs. This proven approach, utilizing a suite of modeling, simulation, and analysis tools, provides answers to complex problems impacting missions, plans, programs and technology development efforts.

The ExoAnalytic Architecting Process evaluates the existing baseline of systems and infrastructure for capability shortfalls and performance gaps. System modifications, new concepts, technologies, operating concepts or non-material solutions are then evaluated against technical performance metrics and cost to determine the best means to resolve deficiencies.

Mission Needs/Requirements – Mission requirements are used to define the specific functions to be performed or capabilities to be achieved in a mission area. We present these needs in specific qualitative and quantitative terms with enough detail to enable the definition of technical performance metrics (TPMs) to be used in the ensuing analysis. Features, attributes or other qualities to be characterized for space objects are defined and documented in this activity.

Existing Systems, Threats and Scenarios  Databases are maintained to: characterize performance capabilities and CONOPS of As-Is Systems and contributing capabilities; store scenario parameters for evaluating system and mission performance across a range of conditions; and capture information on adversary threats and supporting infrastructure elements. System descriptions are standardized to provide sufficient technical and operational detail for analysis of each system and threat within applicable scenarios.

Analysis Framework  Assessing the performance of individual systems and concepts is fundamental to architecture analysis, but systems don’t work in isolation – the decision-maker must also understand the integrated performance of the network to assess its fitness for use. The EAP is an integrated approach for assessing end-to-end mission capability that is linked to system performance and component-level parameters. This allows the decision-maker to understand the impact an individual system within an architecture has on improving the overall mission performance. The EAP provides varying levels of scale/scope covering three levels of analysis: Engineering, Engagement, and Mission/Campaign.

  • Engineering Level analysis involves assessing the technical performance of a specific concept, system or subsystem; for example, determining a sensor’s ability to detect, track or monitor a target. Metrics at this level are captured as Measures of Performance (MoPs) in the EAP framework.
  • Engagement Level analysis involves determining a system or concept’s effectiveness in supporting a function or mission; for example, determining a system’s ability to identify, characterize, or assess a target. Engagement analysis evaluates both the system’s technical performance and system-level CONOPS. Metrics at this level are captured as Measures of Effectiveness (MoEs) in the EAP framework.
  • Mission/Campaign Level analysis involves evaluating the capability of an architecture to achieve mission success; for example, determining the accuracy of threat indications and warnings, or the percentage of actual adversary threats on the space order of battle. Metrics at this level are captured as Measures of Outcomes (MoOs) in the EAP framework. Mission/Campaign level analysis answers the “So what?” question, showing the utility of a given architecture. Typically, we use SEAS or other mission utility models to determine mission outcomes.

At each of the analysis levels, we determine where systems or concepts fall short of requirements and quantify the performance/capability gap. The identified shortfall information is used to determine the necessary changes to systems, CONOPS or other non-materiel solutions, or whether system upgrades or new system concepts are required to satisfy mission capability needs.

Define Concepts, CONOPS and Costs – Shortfalls identified through analysis are used to drive development of non-material solutions, upgrades to existing systems, or new system concepts. Our concept development team ensures that the concepts created for evaluation are feasible with a realistic CONOPS, and include design estimates of size, weight and power. To ensure we have the technical and operational detail needed for analysis, we document each concept to include:

  • Physical description
  • Operational employment concept
  • Engineering feasibility assessment
  • Technology readiness assessment
  • System implementation
  • Staffing estimates
  • Lifecycle cost estimates
  • Development schedule
  • CONOPS
  • C2 supporting requirements
  • Testing & training

Our experienced cost estimation team uses proven tools and a consistent set of ground rules and assumptions. The cost estimating process begins with technical data for the proposed concept. This includes the technical description of the concept along with any vendor-supplied presentations or datasheets. If data is missing or unavailable, our concept design Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) use their knowledge and judgment to complete a technically feasible design to allow for a cost estimate. After being checked for consistency, accuracy, and risk, these cost estimates are provided to the analysis team to incorporate into the cost-versus-performance analysis.

Iterate and Optimize – As new approaches, systems and concepts are defined to close requirements shortfalls, the resulting architecture capabilities are analyzed via the EAP. Plots of system- and architecture-level metrics and costs enable decision makers to quickly see which combinations of systems perform best at a given cost, or, conversely, how much it will cost to achieve a given performance/capability level. Systems that provide the best results at a given cost define a curve called the “efficient frontier.” Efficient frontiers and other data visualization tools provide a ready understanding of analysis results.

Development Plan – Once an optimal architecture has been determined, the analysis products generated through the EAP directly support the production of development plans documenting schedules, budgets, system implementation, CONOPS, and staffing requirements.