Concepts and issues for systems integration of U.S. Air Force deployable communications
Cervi, Michael A.
Boger, Dan C.
Jones, Carl R.
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This thesis examines the broad issues and concepts which impact the effectiveness of U.S. Air Force deployable communications. A high-level "systems analysis" approach was used in this study to gain visibility on the number of elements involved in deployable communications and their interrelationships. Previous studies were reviewed to determine where trends existed, and contemporary analysis efforts were examined for clarity and cohesiveness. the principles of command and control are discussed, followed by a description of the current family of U.S. Air Force deployable communications equipment and how it supports the warfighters in the deployed environment. Central issues and concepts are developed through trade-off analysis and illustrative examples. Key concepts include: time phased arrival of equipment in theater, modularity of design, strategic/tactical interface, and interoperability. Conclusions indicates that persistent systems integration problems are more the result of organizational and conceptual problems than with the physical technologies. Recommendations include the establishment of a "center of excellence" to coordinate and facilitate systems integration. The tools for such a center include clear policy direction, computer models and simulations, trade-off analysis, and artificial intelligence/expert systems. A conceptual architecture is provided to illustrate the desired relationship between cooperative sub-architectures, and a definition proposed for architectures in an attempt to standardize its interpretation.
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