Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Survivability: The Impacts of Speed, Detectability, Altitude, and Enemy Capabilities   [open pdf - 2MB]

From the thesis abstract: "Warfighters are increasingly relying on Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) systems at all levels of combat operations. As these systems weave further into the fabric of our tactics and doctrine, their loss will seriously diminish combat effectiveness. This makes the survivability of these systems of utmost importance. Using Agent-based modeling and a Nearly Orthogonal Latin Hypercube design of experiment, numerous factors and levels are explored to gain insight into their impact on, and relative importance to, survivability. Factors investigated include UAV speed, stealth, altitude, and sensor range, as well as enemy force sensor ranges, probability of kill, array of forces, and numerical strength. These factors are varied broadly to ensure robust survivability results regardless of the type of threat. The analysis suggests that a speed of at least 135 knts should be required and that increases in survivability remain appreciable up to about 225 knts. The exception to speed's dominance is in the face of extremely high capability enemy assets. In this case, stealth becomes more important than speed alone. However, the interactions indicate that as both speed and stealth increase, speed yields a faster return on overall survivability and that speed mitigates increased enemy capabilities."

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Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library: https://calhoun.nps.edu/
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