Technology Applications Division/Systems Engineering and Analysis Branch
Published March 09, 2012
The Technology Applications Division of the Air Force Research Laboratory's Directed Energy Directorate concentrates on supporting directed energy developing technologies and transitioning that research to the front-line. The Systems Engineering and Analysis Branch supports concept development, system performance, utility assessment, modeling and simulation, plus war gaming efforts to ensure AFRL directed energy technology concepts meet warfighter needs.
The Branch's objective is to develop, integrate, prototype, simulate, and assess directed energy system concepts as they relate to technology readiness, technology tradeoffs, mission effectiveness, military utility and the role in system architectures.
The Systems Engineering and Analysis Branch manage three directed energy specialist teams: Simulation, Systems Integration, and Systems Assessment.
System simulation and war gaming raise confidence in directed energy capabilities by providing a traceable lineage; ensuring technical reality and tactical credibility are appropriately and accurately represented.
The Directed Energy Engineering and Analysis Center (DE2AC) collects, analyzes, synthesizes, and disseminates scientific and technical data in clearly defined, specialized fields or subject areas. The Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) operates the DE2AC organization charted by AFRL and the High Energy Laser-Joint Technology Office.
Wargaming allows technology developers to refine concept of operations and monitor directed energy systems in a military battlefield environment. In addition to participating in various wargames, The Branch hosts
an annual Advanced Concepts Event (ACE). ACE educates warfighters on directed energy capabilities and effects through the war gaming experience. These same warfighters provide critical feedback on directed energy systems.
In 2007, ACE introduced the prototype high energy laser Joint Munitions Effectiveness Manual (JMEM) weapon effectiveness planning tool. JMEM is deployed throughout the Department of Defense (DoD) for use by the planning, intelligence, and acquisition communities. The high energy laser JMEM prototype resulted from efforts to make sure accurate directed energy concepts exist in DoD tools through the Branch's participation in the DoD Directed Energy and Non-lethal Working Group.
Divided into two areas of expertise, the Systems Engineering team is responsible for the traditional systems engineering functions of the Directorate. Expertise is provided through the core team in addition to the ability to hire subject matter experts rapidly upon need.
SPIDERWorks (Solving Problems using Innovative Directed Energy Research Workshop) proactively solves customer problems using near-term directed energy solutions; focusing on innovation over invention. This team specializes in low-cost, short-term programs.
The Systems Assessment Team investigates performance characteristics of proposed directed energy assessment systems as well as key drivers of the platform such as size, weight, and volume and pertinent atmospheric phenomena. Modeling tools include engagement, physics, investigative, and high-fidelity weapons system models.
The Field Operations Team within the Branch provides hardware, software and field operations expertise to execute unique directed energy field tests. This team designs the experiments, coordinates required entities like test site management, equipment operators, and safety offices, executes the testing, and reports the findings to their customer. The team also provides the expertise required to operate, maintain and modify the Mobile Acquisition and Tracking System (MATS) and the Mojave Tracking System to meet customer data requests. These systems provide ideal mobile test platforms for performing daylight passive Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite acquisition and precision tracking - key technology enablers for such technology areas as Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and other directed energy-related future concepts.