The effect of sensor performance on safe minefield transit
Pilnick, Steven E.
Jacobs, Patricia A.
Gaver, Donald P.
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Mines are relatively cheap weapons that can be employed in significant quantity by any country with even a modest military budget, and can be very effective at severely damaging or sinking ships or denying maritime access to an area. In this thesis, simulation and analytical models are formulated and studied to investigate the benefits and risks of mine avoidance, without object classification capability, under circumstances that include imperfect sensors and false targets. Two models of mine avoidance maneuvering are formulated, with increasing complexity in both their analytical and simulation implementations. With both formulations, results are obtained and analyzed to produce tables showing the probability of successful minefield transit as a function of sensor probability of detection vs. density of mine and non-mine, mine-like bottom objects, and the false alarm rate. The tables show the range of those parameter values for which mine avoidance maneuvering improves the probability of safe transit, and the values for which mine avoidance maneuvering reduces the probability of safe transit. The decrease is attributable to the fact that mine avoidance maneuvering increases the distance traveled in the minefield and the consequent risk of damage or destruction by an undetected mine. Quantitative results for the increased distance traveled in the minefield are also presented. Finally, a comparison of the two models of mine avoidance maneuvering show, not surprisingly, that the results of the simpler model are not good approximations of the results obtained with the more complex model, suggesting that even greater complexity in maneuver modeling may be desirable for some purposes.
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