Unmanned aerial vehicle contributions to intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions for expeditionary operations
Lucas, Thomas W.
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This study analyzes the impact various capabilities have on intelligence gathering missions for a Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) commander's 2015 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The Marine Corps Warfighting Lab (MCWL) is developing requirements for an intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) UAV that supports rapid planning and decision making for multiple concurrent operations, and facilitates maneuver and precision engagement. Additionally, acquisition of a 2008 Pioneer replacement is underway at Marine Corps Systems Command (MARCORSYSCOM). The importance of various capabilities for this replacement UAV presently lacks quantitative analysis. Through modeling, agent-based simulation, and data mining, this study explores the validity of current requirements and provides insights into the importance of various UAV characteristics, such as airspeed, endurance, sweep width, and sensor capability. The results have design consequences for MCWL's Fleet Battle Experiment Sea Viking 20XX, its largest annual experiment, and provide key parameters for physics-based simulations such as COMBAT XXI. The advantages of tactical routing, a seven hour (or greater) on station time, a minimum 4,500 meter sweep width, and a probability of classification of at least 0.4 are verified for the Sea Viking scenario. This analysis indicates that a UAV in this scenario does not need to travel in excess of 200 knots.
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