Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Reporting from IITSEC Paper Review - Struck with Inspiration

Today, I'm participating in the review of paper submissions for the Interservice/Industry, Simulation, and Education Conference (IITSEC) - Simulation subcommittee. This is my first year as a reviewer and it has been a great experience working with experienced simulation industry and Government representatives to evaluate this year's submissions. While preparing for this meeting, I started thinking of how modeling & simulation (M&S) could be used to support the development and use of UAS for a radiological disaster recovery and monitoring project NASA has been discussing with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. M&S could provide the means to examine potential usage strategies (i.e., use cases) and determine the effectiveness (i.e., in terms of cost and performance) of various UAS platforms (or combination of platforms). Through the use of a simulation framework, terrain data specific to the launch environment, and models of mission specific objects (e.g., UAV platforms, vegatation, and radiological debris), it would be possible to run multiple scenarios, platforms, and search patterns virtually; providing an opportunity to observe how the aircraft would interact with the subject environment. The results of such a research project may provide the ability to determine advantages and limitations of M&S use for UAS asset assignment evaluation, while identifying appropriate UAS platforms and flight profiles to obtain maximum mission effectiveness.