Determination of critical factors in unmanned casualty evacuation in the distributed environment
Featherstone, Ralph L.
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The current battlefield is changing rapidly. Combat operations against irregular forces are set in a dispersed, non-linear battlefield. Vast distances between small units such as the infantry squad, and the distances from these small elements to their supporting organizations, pose unique challenges. Casualty evacuation is an evolving challenge. The goal of casualty evacuation is to transport an injured Marine from the point of injury to a medical care facility. Increased dispersion results in longer distances from the point of injury to medical care facilities with a corresponding increase in the delay between the time of injury and lifesaving surgical care. The non-linear aspects of this battlefield increase the threat to aircraft crews and platforms conducting casualty evacuation Unmanned aerial systems offer an alternative means of air casualty evacuation. This alternative may provide time-critical response while reducing threat to aircraft crews. The thesis determined the probability distribution of mission completion times and identified the most influential factors on mission success.
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