A Systems Engineering approach to synthetic environments and Modeling & Simulation (M&S) are themselves systems intended to accomplish particular objectives. It follows that M&S Planning represents the initial steps of a disciplined system engineering approach, the elements of which are: [1]

  • M&S Requirements Analysis: Defines the program objectives M&S may be able to satisfy. The contexts in which program M&S objectives must be evaluated (i.e., the questions to be answered) should be identified in parallel with the definition of the objectives. For most programs, expected system operating environments (scenarios, use cases) will be based upon Defense Planning Scenarios, Multi-Service Force Deployments, Design Reference Missions, and System Threat Assessment Reports (STAR). For each pair of an individual M&S objective and expected system operating environment:
    • Domain information should be gathered
    • Decide what entities, attributes, and interactions, have significant impact on the objectives
    • What level of granularity and fidelity they should be represented
    • What user constraints should be taken into account. These include available staff and funding, program schedule, facilities, allowable response time, required run speed (e.g., in real time), security classification, International Traffic and Arms Regulations (ITAR) restrictions, applicable standards, available computing platforms and networks, and other applicable policies.
    • See M&S Requirements Development
  • Analysis of Alternative Solutions: Programs should then identify which models or simulations come close to meeting their needs. Careful examination of each candidate tool should include its verification, VV&A records and record the strengths and weakness of each alternative. If no single M&S tool meets requirements, determine whether multiple models and/or simulations, operating serially or in a dynamically-interacting federation, can meet these requirements.
  • Selection of Best M&S Solution: With the list of candidates and their strengths and weaknesses in hand, identify options that seem feasible and investigate them further only to the extent needed to weigh the options and inform a decision whether to borrow, rent, buy, modify, or build the required M&S capability. In some cases, pursuing an alternate, non-M&S means of satisfying the objective may be the best decision. These decisions should weigh the normal factors of performance, cost, schedule, and risk.
  • Procurement or Development of the Selected M&S Capability: Once the best option has been selected, it will be necessary to coordinate to ensure appropriate funding, personnel, facilities, and equipment are available to execute the selected M&S strategy. Resource levels may require the plans be iterated. It is important that the Program Manager (PM) make necessary investments early in the acquisition life cycle to ensure the M&S capability is available when needed.
  • Integration of M&S Capability into Test and Evaluation: It’s important that M&S capability be integrated into the Test and Evaluation Strategy (TES) and Test and Evaluation Master Plan (TEMP). This will help ensure successful coordination and execution of M&S objectives and capabilities.

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