Proposed functional architecture and associated benefits analysis of a common ground control station for Unmanned Aircraft Systems
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The proliferation of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) and lack of mandated standards has led to unique Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and Ground Control Station (GCS) designs. A former Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, stated in an Acquisition Decision Memorandum (ADM) that UAS GCS commonality could reduce manpower, procurement, sustainment and life cycle costs. While the ADM provided an impetus for commonality, it did not define a path. This project defines a common GCS functional architecture that provides the first steps on the path to UAS commonality. Stakeholder documentation was analyzed to identify areas of greatest concern and to examine previous efforts in this domain. Then, a tailored systems engineering process was employed to develop a new set of requirements which includes a common Air Vehicle Operator (AVO) Human-Machine Interface. These requirements enabled the creation of an innovative functional architecture for a common GCS concept. The utilization of this architecture has multiple operational, logistical, and financial benefits. This project quantified AVO training cost benefits and found that implementation of the common GCS architecture in accordance with the derived requirements will benefit the Department of Defense through reduced Operations and Support costs and increased operational capability.
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NPS Report NumberNPS-SE-10-002
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