Optimal operation of surveillance towers with limited manpower
Lin, Kyle Y.
Burton, Douglas R.
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Tower-based surveillance systems have been employed by the U.S. military to enhance intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities in Iraq and Afghanistan. We consider a scenario wherein two surveillance towers are installed in separate locations; however, the surveillance team does not have enough operators to operate both towers to their capacity. Two strategies can be used to operate these two towers: stationary and dynamic. We formulate a two-person nonzero-sum game to analyze these strategies, in which the surveillance team wants to maintain regional stability while insurgents carry out attacks to disrupt it. Our analysis suggests that the dynamic allocation strategy can improve the performance of surveillance towers over stationary allocation under most circumstances. The improvement tends to be more significant when the surveillance team has more surveillance resource. The dynamic allocation tends to be less effective when (1) a detected attack has a smaller negative impact on the insurgent operations, or when (2) a detected attack brings a larger immediate benefit to the surveillance team.
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