Targeting an Asymmetric Maritime Threat: Workshop Report
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Due to evolving maritime threats, including submarine warfare, piracy, smuggling, and coordinated attack by small vessels, several groups are actively developing tools to optimize the allocation of naval forces to detect and interdict maritime targets, and to provide decision support to commanders in countering these threats. This document reports on a workshop that brought together researchers from several optimization groups and environmental information groups to determine the degree of overlap in their problems. Many common challenges to implementation were identified. The results include a general formulation of the problem of allocating surface, air and undersea assets in a maritime environment that applies to many mission areas. The formulation includes informational input that combines target position and detection or interdiction capability. This allows the separation of the production of environmental information, including asset performance and target positions, from the optimization of asset allocation. Feedback between information production and optimization may occur relatively infrequently. This overcomes some of the practical challenges in implementation of decision support systems that the workshop participants identified. The recommendations identify important open questions and indicate that there is potential for benefit from collaboration and dissemination of advances on the common challenges.