A framework for understanding the Strategic Defense Initiatives' software debates
Adams, Reginald C.
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On March 23, 1983, then-President Ronald Reagan challenged a group of engineers and scientists to make nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete. This challenge led to the beginning of a new era in space technology and strategic defense, thus creating the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), better known as Star Wars. By 1984, several studies had begun to show that software in conjunction with Battle Management/Command, Control, and Communications techniques would play a major role in determining the effectiveness of the SDI. The results from these studies caused numerous controversial debates on the reliability, dependability, and trustworthiness of the software. This thesis provides a framework for understanding the complexities of the SDI software and points out some of the major issues involved in the software debates. The structure for this thesis is based on presenting the opinions of various computer scientists and engineers, indicating the issues that are controversial and those that have been defined as a necessity for the SDI program. One of the major highlights is the SDI summary chart that provides the reader with a very brief narrative of each individual's opinion on the software issues discussed in this thesis.
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