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Missile defense test and measurement

Militaries around the world are increasingly facing a formidable strategic threat environment in terms of complexity, lethality, range, sophistication, and number of threats. These range from Fifth-generation stealth fighters, unmanned air vehicles, and more maneuverable and precision-guided ballistic, cruise, and Hypersonic missiles that are becoming widely proliferated to become more accessible to emerging nations.


Hypersonic missiles pose challenges to radar designers due to their high velocities, manoeuvrability, and radar cross section. Ballistic missile defense systems based on velocity and trajectory of a ballistic missile path use mathematical algorithms to determine interception points to accurately guide an intercepting missile. The predictable ballistic trajectory of ballistic missiles makes them vulnerable to land and naval-based interceptor missiles,


Ballistic Missile Defense if a System of Systems defined as an integrated system, which has systems as components. But it does not just mean a complex of systems. System can be called SoS when it has the following two attributes. The first component needs to be operationally independent and the second is to be managerially independent.


A SoS is a complex system in which a plurality of systems operate as one, and the technical complexity is very high. The complexity of a system is greater than the sum of the complexities of each component system. Because the system interface must be compatible with each system, and the entire system is operated through the distribution of functions. In other words, for the development of complex systems, it is necessary to understand not only the complex interactions between the systems but also to share the vision of how the system should function.


The process of testing and simulating a complex SOS  is logically much more complex. One of the ways to solve this logical complexity is to use formal methods as a system modeling and verification method. The use of formal techniques can provide appropriate reliability for modeling at the individual system level and integration level, and can further improve the objectivity of the verification results.


Missile Defense comprises of a variety of systems or elements, which include sensors, interceptors, command and control, battle management, and communications, to enable the warfighter to destroy enemy missiles before they can reach their targets. The ultimate goal is to integrate these various elements to function as a single system, the BMDS. The BMDS elements, when integrated, are designed to destroy enemy missiles of various ranges, speeds, sizes, and performance characteristics in different phases of flight. Once an enemy missile has been launched, sensors and interceptors are coordinated via the command and control, battle management, and communications system to enable the warfighter to track or engage it.



Testing provides warfighters with confidence in the basic design of the BMDS, its hit-to-kill effectiveness, and its inherent operational capability. Targets and Countermeasures provides a variety of highly complex short-,
medium-, intermediate-, and intercontinental-range targets to represent realistic threats during BMDS flight testing. A quantitative assessment will require extensive ground testing that is supported by M&S accredited for
performance assessment and grounded in flight testing.


Simulation models are nowadays increasingly utilized across every domain within the defense, from analysis
and design, to testing and evaluation, and from training and acquisition to exploration. This constitutes the verification and validation of simulation models a fundamental requirement for assuring that their development and deployment includes minimum levels of risks. Moreover, verified and validated simulation models provide confidence of use to their stakeholders and users for the anticipated results.
Flight testing is a branch of aeronautical engineering that develops specialist equipment required for testing aircraft behavior and systems. Instrumentation systems are developed using proprietary transducers and data acquisition systems. Data is sampled during the flight of a missile, aircraft, or a reusable spacecraft. This data is validated for accuracy and analyzed before being passed to specialist engineering groups for further analysis to validate the design of the vehicle.
The flight test phase accomplishes two major tasks: 1) finding and fixing any design problems and then 2) verifying and documenting the vehicle capabilities for government certification or customer acceptance. The flight test phase can range from the test of a single new system for an existing vehicle to the complete development and certification of a new aircraft, launch vehicle, or reusable spacecraft. Therefore, the duration of a particular flight test program can vary from a few weeks to many years.


U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA)

The MDA’s mission is to develop an integrated layered ballistic missile defense system to defend the U.S., its deployed forces, friends, and allies from ballistic missiles of all ranges and in all phases of flight. The MDA’s test and measurement program provides critical data to demonstrate the effectiveness, suitability, and survivability of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS).


U.S. missile defense experts needed software support for a variety of ballistic missile defense tests. They found their solution from Corvid Technologies LLC in Mooresville, N.C. Officials of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) in Dahlgren, Va., announced a potential $44 million contract to Corvid Technologies in June 2022 to provide mathematical algorithm development, computational analysis, and range safety analysis support for MDA flight tests.


Testing also contributes to U.S. non-proliferation goals by sending a credible message to the international community on U.S. ability to defeat ballistic missiles in flight.


Testing is a continuous, evolutionary process that encompasses developmental and operational activities. The process begins with testing of system elements and components and progresses to end-to-end testing of the integrated system as a combination of interceptor and sensor systems linked by a sophisticated command and control architecture. As testing progresses, each test builds on knowledge gained from previous tests, adds increasingly challenging goals, and becomes more operationally realistic.


The test program uses models and simulations to assess system configurations, engagement conditions, and target phenomena. Flight and ground testing provides essential data to validate the accuracy of models and simulations. Ground tests combine hardware-in-the-loop, digital representations, high fidelity threat simulations, and operational assets to test BMDS capabilities across many threats and environments that cannot be replicated in flight tests.


Exercises and wargames help military commanders prepare concepts of operations; tactics, techniques, and procedures; doctrine; and training on current and evolving BMDS capabilities.


MDA research seeks to establish and maintain the BMDS, add networked, forward-deployed ground-based, sea-based, and space-based sensors to make interceptors more effective in the future; expand U.S. missile-defense capability by adding interceptors over time; and add complex layers of increasingly capable sensors and weapons, as new technologies emerge.


Corvid Technology capitalizes on the predictive capability of high-fidelity computational physics solvers, an indigenous massively parallel supercomputer system, prototyping plant, and ballistics and mechanics lab to investigate high-rate physics phenomena, resulting in complex engineering solutions for ballistic missile defense, cyber security, aircraft, and missile and warhead design and development.


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