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Air Force Institute of Technology

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Articles 1 - 30 of 209

Full-Text Articles in Operations Research, Systems Engineering and Industrial Engineering

Search And Rescue Operations Forecasting And Optimization, Zachary T. Hornberger Mar 2019

Search And Rescue Operations Forecasting And Optimization, Zachary T. Hornberger

Theses and Dissertations

United States Coast Guard District 14 is responsible for the execution of eleven statutory missions across the Pacific region. Despite having the largest geographic area of responsibility (AOR), District 14 has command of among the fewest resources to accomplish these missions. When search and rescue (SAR) emergencies occur, these events take immediate priority because the ability to rapidly coordinate available assets can be the difference between saving or losing a life. Using historic records of SAR incidents for District 14, we leverage an approach called the stochastic zonal distribution model to evaluate spatiotemporal trends in emergency rates and response strategies ...


Fracture Toughness And Fatigue Crack Growth Rate Characterization Of Inconel 718 Formed By Laser Powder Bed Fusion, Charles C. Hohnbaum Mar 2019

Fracture Toughness And Fatigue Crack Growth Rate Characterization Of Inconel 718 Formed By Laser Powder Bed Fusion, Charles C. Hohnbaum

Theses and Dissertations

Continuing improvement in the field of AM of metals provides the opportunity for direct fabrication of aerospace parts. AM was once used in large part for rapid prototyping but improvements in technology and increases in the knowledge base of AM materials has provided the opportunity for manufacture of AM parts for operational use. The ability to create low numbers of unique parts without having to invest in expensive tooling provides great economic incentive to utilize this technique. IN718 is the most common high temperature alloy used in the aerospace industry and lends itself readily to formation by LPBF. The superior ...


Real-Time Heuristics And Metaheuristics For Static And Dynammic Weapon Target Assignments, Alexander G. Kline Dec 2018

Real-Time Heuristics And Metaheuristics For Static And Dynammic Weapon Target Assignments, Alexander G. Kline

Theses and Dissertations

The problem of targeting and engaging individual missiles (targets) with an arsenal of interceptors (weapons) is known as the weapon target assignment problem. This problem has been well-researched since the seminal work in 1958. There are two distinct categories of the weapon target assignment problem: static and dynamic. The static weapon target assignment problem considers a single instance in which a known number of incoming missiles is to be engaged with a finite number of interceptors. By contrast, the dynamic weapon target assignment problem considers either follow on engagement(s) should the first engagement(s) fail, a subsequent salvo of ...


Operational Squadron Scheduling, Khaled A. Almannaei Sep 2018

Operational Squadron Scheduling, Khaled A. Almannaei

Theses and Dissertations

The 28th Operational Weather Squadron (28th OWS) is responsible for producing and disseminating mission planning and execution weather analyses and forecasts. The squadron must prepare schedules that meet the needs of their mission while dealing with real-world constraints such as time windows, task priorities, and intermittent recurring missions. The 28th OWS's manning consists of active duty, deployed in-place, reserve, civilian and contract personnel. In this research, a scheduling model and algorithm are provided as an approach to crew scheduling for the 28th Operational Weather Squadron. Scheduling in the 28th OWS is complex and can be time consuming. This model ...


Generating Strong Diversity Of Opinions: Agent Models Of Continuous Opinion Dynamics, Christopher W. Weimer Sep 2018

Generating Strong Diversity Of Opinions: Agent Models Of Continuous Opinion Dynamics, Christopher W. Weimer

Theses and Dissertations

Opinion dynamics is the study of how opinions in a group of individuals change over time. A goal of opinion dynamics modelers has long been to find a social science-based model that generates strong diversity -- smooth, stable, possibly multi-modal distributions of opinions. This research lays the foundations for and develops such a model. First, a taxonomy is developed to precisely describe agent schedules in an opinion dynamics model. The importance of scheduling is shown with applications to generalized forms of two models. Next, the meta-contrast influence field (MIF) model is defined. It is rooted in self-categorization theory and improves on ...


The Military Inventory Routing Problem: Utilizing Heuristics Within A Least Squares Temporal Differences Algorithm To Solve A Multiclass Stochastic Inventory Routing Problem With Vehicle Loss, Ethan L. Salgado Sep 2018

The Military Inventory Routing Problem: Utilizing Heuristics Within A Least Squares Temporal Differences Algorithm To Solve A Multiclass Stochastic Inventory Routing Problem With Vehicle Loss, Ethan L. Salgado

Theses and Dissertations

Military commanders currently resupply forward operating bases (FOBs) from a central location within an area of operations mainly via convoy operations in a way that closely resembles vendor managed inventory practices. Commanders must decide when and how much inventory to distribute throughout their area of operations while minimizing soldier risk. Technology currently exists that makes utilizing unmanned cargo aerial vehicles (CUAVs) for resupply an attractive alternative due to the dangers of utilizing convoy operations. Enemy actions in wartime environments pose a significant risk to a CUAV's ability to safely deliver supplies to a FOB. We develop a Markov decision ...


Multi-Level Multi-Objective Programming And Optimization For Integrated Air Defense System Disruption, Aaron M. Lessin Sep 2018

Multi-Level Multi-Objective Programming And Optimization For Integrated Air Defense System Disruption, Aaron M. Lessin

Theses and Dissertations

The U.S. military's ability to project military force is being challenged. This research develops and demonstrates the application of three respective sensor location, relocation, and network intrusion models to provide the mathematical basis for the strategic engagement of emerging technologically advanced, highly-mobile, Integrated Air Defense Systems. First, we propose a bilevel mathematical programming model for locating a heterogeneous set of sensors to maximize the minimum exposure of an intruder's penetration path through a defended region. Next, we formulate a multi-objective, bilevel optimization model to relocate surviving sensors to maximize an intruder's minimal expected exposure to traverse ...


Methods To Support The Project Selection Problem With Non-Linear Portfolio Objectives, Time Sensitive Objectives, Time Sensitive Resource Constraints, And Modeling Inadequacies, Neil C. Ranly Sep 2018

Methods To Support The Project Selection Problem With Non-Linear Portfolio Objectives, Time Sensitive Objectives, Time Sensitive Resource Constraints, And Modeling Inadequacies, Neil C. Ranly

Theses and Dissertations

The United States Air Force relies upon information production activities to gain insight regarding uncertainties affecting important system configuration and in-mission task execution decisions. Constrained resources that prevent the fulfillment of every information production request, multiple information requestors holding different temporal-sensitive objectives, non-constant marginal value preferences, and information-product aging factors that affect the value-of-information complicate the management of these activities. This dissertation reviews project selection research related to these issues and presents novel methods to address these complications. Quantitative experimentation results demonstrate these methods’ significance.


A System Dynamics Innovation Diffusion Model Applied To Carbon Nanotube Manufacturing, Frances G. Mackinnon Mar 2018

A System Dynamics Innovation Diffusion Model Applied To Carbon Nanotube Manufacturing, Frances G. Mackinnon

Theses and Dissertations

The transition of advanced technologies from their nascent state to viable commercial entities is a critical step in assuring the United States' national technological superiority and support is often required to incubate such technological developments. We propose a spiral development to investigate the possible scenarios, underlying economics, and risk associated with scaling up carbon nanotube (CNT) production to a commercially viable scale. As the first stage of this proposed effort, this study characterizes the potential scenarios by which a CNT manufacturing company can generate positive annual net revenue and potentially be considered a competitive manufacturer of CNT products on an ...


An Analysis Of Major Acquisition Reforms Through Text Mining And Grounded Theory Design, Amanda L. Mcgowin Mar 2018

An Analysis Of Major Acquisition Reforms Through Text Mining And Grounded Theory Design, Amanda L. Mcgowin

Theses and Dissertations

Cost growth is an established phenomenon within Defense Acquisition that the US Government has attempted to abolish for decades through seemingly endless cycles of reform. Dozens of experts and senior leaders within the acquisition community have published their notions on the reasons for cost growth, nevertheless, legislation has yet to eradicate this presumed conundrum. For this reason, this research is aimed at identifying existing trends within past major Defense Acquisition Reform legislation, as well as in a compendium of views from leaders within the Defense Acquisition community on the efficacy of acquisition reform, to determine the possible disconnect. To accomplish ...


Experimental Designs, Meta-Modeling, And Meta-Learning For Mixed-Factor Systems With Large Decision Spaces, Zachary C. Little Mar 2018

Experimental Designs, Meta-Modeling, And Meta-Learning For Mixed-Factor Systems With Large Decision Spaces, Zachary C. Little

Theses and Dissertations

Many Air Force studies require a design and analysis process that can accommodate for the computational challenges associated with complex systems, simulations, and real-world decisions. For systems with large decision spaces and a mixture of continuous, discrete, and categorical factors, nearly orthogonal-and-balanced (NOAB) designs can be used as efficient, representative subsets of all possible design points for system evaluation, where meta-models are then fitted to act as surrogates to system outputs. The mixed-integer linear programming (MILP) formulations used to construct first-order NOAB designs are extended to solve for low correlation between second-order model terms (i.e., two-way interactions and quadratics ...


An Open Source Approach To Social Media Data Gathering, Anthony J. Kallhoff Mar 2018

An Open Source Approach To Social Media Data Gathering, Anthony J. Kallhoff

Theses and Dissertations

Modern usage of social media affords the military intelligence and analytic communities novel approaches to gather information. However, the tools and resources to develop these methodologies are still maturing. Furthermore, current data acquisition tools are not available to the DoD for all social media platforms. This thesis addresses a small subset of this problem by developing an open source methodological approach to collect and manage data from a popular social media site that has previously been inaccessible to defense intelligence organizations. This approach was operationalized via the R package called instaExtract, and an exemplar analysis was performed to demonstrate its ...


A Study Of The Air Force Airworthiness Assessment Process With Recommendations For Reusable Launch Vehicles, Austin A. Troya Mar 2018

A Study Of The Air Force Airworthiness Assessment Process With Recommendations For Reusable Launch Vehicles, Austin A. Troya

Theses and Dissertations

Flight safety is a critical design and engineering consideration within the United States Department of Defense (DoD) and particularly the United States Air Force (USAF). This study conducts an independent evaluation of the airworthiness assessment process used by the United States Air Force’s Engineering Directorate through modeling and simulation. The airworthiness process is examined for its ability to effectively verify sound engineering design and efficiency with respect to the implementation of new software-based assessment tools and its impact on timeliness of reviews and resource utilization. Simulation results guide recommendations for reducing non-value-added activities and strategic leveling of resource demands ...


The Developmental Test Scheduling Problem, Joseph E. Schoenbeck Mar 2018

The Developmental Test Scheduling Problem, Joseph E. Schoenbeck

Theses and Dissertations

Developmental testing of aircraft systems in the United States Air Force requires a complex set of resources for each test. The optimal scheduling of those resources is the job of the 412th Test Wing at Edwards Air Force Base. With more than 20 different Combined Task Forces requesting resources for roughly 300 flying missions each week, manual scheduling is a difficult task. The current process takes a team of schedulers several days to get a workable result from which they can start tailoring the final schedule. While concepts and techniques can be taken from industry scheduling problems, the body of ...


Effect Of Fused Filament Fabrication Process Parameters On The Mechanical Properties Of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymers, Abdulrahman S. Alwabel Sep 2017

Effect Of Fused Filament Fabrication Process Parameters On The Mechanical Properties Of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymers, Abdulrahman S. Alwabel

Theses and Dissertations

Carbon fiber reinforced polymer manufactured using additive manufacturing process is relatively a new process. The ability to predict the mechanical properties of these parts with high confidence will spread the use of these high-strength materials in more applications. The purpose of this research was to determine the effect of the build time between successive layers, arrangement of fiber and nylon layers, fiber start location, and the use of support material on the mechanical properties CFRP produced by additive manufacturing process using the MarkForged (MarkOne) 3D printer. A design of experiment (DOE) we preformed to develop a mathematical model describing the ...


Evaluating Process Improvement Courses Of Action Through Modeling And Simulation, Joseph R. Owens Sep 2017

Evaluating Process Improvement Courses Of Action Through Modeling And Simulation, Joseph R. Owens

Theses and Dissertations

Quantifying an expected improvement when considering moderate-complexity changes to a process is time consuming and has potential to overlook stochastic effects. By modeling a process as a Numerical Design Structure Matrix (NDSM), simulating the proposed changes, and evaluating performance, quantification can be rapidly accomplished to understand stochastic effects. This thesis explores a method to evaluate complex process changes within Six Sigma DMAIC process improvement to identify the most desirable outcome amongst several improvement options. A tool to perform the modeling and evaluation is developed. This process evaluation tool is verified for functionality, then is demonstrated against generic processes, a case ...


Refugees In Urban Environments: Social, Economic, And Infrastructure Impacts, Garrett L. Jameson Mar 2017

Refugees In Urban Environments: Social, Economic, And Infrastructure Impacts, Garrett L. Jameson

Theses and Dissertations

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has estimated that in 2015 there were 21.3 million refugees worldwide; it is estimated that 1.8 million of these persons were newly displaced during 2015. As refugees leave their country to seek the protection of another nation's government, they generally flow into urban areas. The impact of this flow on cities and on the refugees, themselves, is not fully understood. This study is focused on the impact of government policy decisions on the social, legal, and economic integration of refugees within an urban environment. Investigation into this topic resulted in ...


Enhancing The Thermal Performance Of Temporary Fabric Shelters For The Advanced Energy Efficient Shelter System, Justin E. Eshleman Mar 2017

Enhancing The Thermal Performance Of Temporary Fabric Shelters For The Advanced Energy Efficient Shelter System, Justin E. Eshleman

Theses and Dissertations

Investment in the commercial space industry has grown significantly over the past decade. This investment has led to a tremendous leap in capability for small satellite systems and a greater demand for small launch vehicles. At the same time, space system affordability is a point of emphasis within the Department of Defense (DoD) which raises the question: Can the DoD lower space access costs through the exploitation of the growing small satellite and small launch marketplace? We perform a financial analysis of newly developed small launch vehicles delivering a small satellite constellation to low earth orbit (LEO) to perform wideband ...


A System Dynamics Model Investigating The Efficacy Of Non-Kinetic Policy Strategies On The Diffusion Of Democratic Ideologies In China, Maria S. Phillips Mar 2017

A System Dynamics Model Investigating The Efficacy Of Non-Kinetic Policy Strategies On The Diffusion Of Democratic Ideologies In China, Maria S. Phillips

Theses and Dissertations

Shaping the next century of global politics and power, United States-China relations comprise one of the most significant bilateral relationships in the world. A new era of unrestricted warfare is one example of how aggression from China could be very costly for the United States. The growth of democratic ideals within China decreases the risk of detrimental impacts according to democratic peace theory. This thesis explores a multifaceted system of relationships that regulate the diffusion of democratic ideology within China, as defined by a proxy-measure characterized as human rights by Freedom House. Relative deprivation theory coupled with an adapted Bass ...


Survival Analysis Of Us Air Force Officer Retention Rate, Courtney N. Franzen Mar 2017

Survival Analysis Of Us Air Force Officer Retention Rate, Courtney N. Franzen

Theses and Dissertations

Personnel retention is a matter of great interest in the private and public sectors. In the public sector--specifically the US Air Force--maintaining appropriate retention levels of rated officers is paramount as these officers are the backbone of the Air Force’s mission. As part of the effort to ensure proper retention rates for rated officers, retention models are created by the Air Force Personnel division that assist in predicting future retention patterns and accession needs. The techniques for creating these models, known as the "sustainment line," involve utilizing average retention percentages obtained from historical data. In this study, more statistical-based ...


Application Of Enlisted Force Retention Levels And Career Field Stability, Jamie T. Zimmermann Mar 2017

Application Of Enlisted Force Retention Levels And Career Field Stability, Jamie T. Zimmermann

Theses and Dissertations

The Air Force’s success is influenced by the manpower it has. The end-strength is Congressionally mandated. Predicting personnel retention is critical to the operations of the military. Over 10 years ago, the Air Force produced enlisted career field sustainment lines based on manning. If a career field was over manned the authorizations were decreased, likewise if a career field was under manned the authorizations were increased. The constant fluctuation of manning caused bathtubs to be created and requirements to go unfilled. Currently, the Air Force produces enlisted career field sustainment lines based on the 5-year historical retention rates. This ...


Multi-Plc Exercise Environments For Training Ics First Responders, Joseph K. Daoud Mar 2017

Multi-Plc Exercise Environments For Training Ics First Responders, Joseph K. Daoud

Theses and Dissertations

When systems are targeted by cyber attacks, cyber first responders must be able to react effectively, especially when dealing with critical infrastructure. Training for cyber first responders is lacking and most existing exercise platforms are expensive, inaccessible or ineffective. This paper presents a mobile training platform which incorporates a variety of programmable logic controllers into a single system which facilitates the development of the unique skills required of cyber first responders operating in the realm of industrial control systems. The platform is modeled after a jail in the northeastern United States and was developed to maximize realism. Example training scenarios ...


An Approximate Dynamic Programming Approach For Comparing Firing Solutions In A Networked Air Defense Environment, Daniel S. Summers Mar 2017

An Approximate Dynamic Programming Approach For Comparing Firing Solutions In A Networked Air Defense Environment, Daniel S. Summers

Theses and Dissertations

The United States Army currently employs a shoot-shoot-look firing policy for air defense. As the Army moves to a networked defense-in-depth strategy, this policy will not provide optimal results for managing interceptor inventories in a conflict to minimize the damage to defended assets. The objective for air and missile defense is to identify the firing policy for interceptor allocation that minimizes expected total cost of damage to defended assets. This dynamic weapon target assignment problem is formulated first as a Markov decision process (MDP) and then approximate dynamic programming (ADP) is used to solve problem instances based on a representative ...


An Investigation Into The Indicators Of A Successful Total Force Association, Greg E. Hoyt Mar 2017

An Investigation Into The Indicators Of A Successful Total Force Association, Greg E. Hoyt

Theses and Dissertations

The Air Force, since adopting and subsequently developing the Total Force concept in the early 1970s, has not thoroughly outlined clear objectives by which the progress toward and realization of this strategic vision should be defined and measured. Without clear definition, direction, and method of evaluation, the ability to credibly claim any subsequent successes or failures in the pursuit of this vision become vulnerable to challenge. Indeed, the mere claim that a single, clear vision exists may be challenged. The Total Force concepts degree of success has, on multiple occasions through its history, been critiqued with the most recent instance ...


Real-Time Heuristic Algorithms For The Static Weapon-Target Assignment Problem, Alexander G. Kline Mar 2017

Real-Time Heuristic Algorithms For The Static Weapon-Target Assignment Problem, Alexander G. Kline

Theses and Dissertations

The problem of targeting and engaging individual missiles (targets) with an arsenal of interceptors (weapons) is known as the weapon target assignment problem. As many solution techniques are based upon a transformation of the objective function, their final solutions rarely produce optimal solutions. We propose a nonlinear branch and bound algorithm to provide the first optimization approach to the untransformed problem found in the literature. Further, we propose a new heuristic based upon the branch and bound algorithm which dominates other heuristics explored in optimality gap. We also propose a heuristic based upon the optimal solution to the quiz problem ...


Simulation Modeling And Analysis Of Deployed F-16 Operations And Logistics Support, Gregory D. Potts Ii Mar 2017

Simulation Modeling And Analysis Of Deployed F-16 Operations And Logistics Support, Gregory D. Potts Ii

Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this thesis is to reinforce and build upon past efforts identifying and demonstrating the need to better represent logistic capabilities and constraints within the realm of wargaming, war planning, and other analyses requiring the modeling of Air Force combat operations. We develop a framework for the porting of relevant logistic information and requirements from a reliable data source (LCOM- ATK) into a discrete event simulation environment (SIMIO), providing a simulation model for enhanced and robust analyses. The simulation we create explicitly reflects (for a selected subset of Work Unit Codes) the maintenance manpower, resources, and parts required ...


Alternate Stimuli For The Elicitation Of Event-Related Potentials, Bryan V. Jackson Mar 2017

Alternate Stimuli For The Elicitation Of Event-Related Potentials, Bryan V. Jackson

Theses and Dissertations

Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) are systems that leverage user-brain activity to identify and perform specific functions. In applications requiring overt visual attention, focusing on visual stimuli with known temporal variation can elicit measurable changes in brain activity. However, elements of BCI applications can be intrusive. This research was designed to determine if Event-Related Potentials (ERPs), to include Steady-State Visually-Evoked Potentials (SSVEPs), could be elicited and interpreted from less obtrusive stimuli. Specifically, this research explores the use of variable frequency and long-wavelength (infrared) stimuli for SSVEP interpretation to explore the application of less obtrusive stimuli for application in BCIs. It was determined ...


A Portfolio Decision Analysis Study For Improving Consequence Of Facility Failure Indices, Michael J. Blaess Mar 2017

A Portfolio Decision Analysis Study For Improving Consequence Of Facility Failure Indices, Michael J. Blaess

Theses and Dissertations

The United States Air Force partially integrated the Mission Dependency Index (MDI) into its portfolio project selection model by assigning an MDI value to a facility type or real property category code (CATCODE) in lieu of assigning a unique MDI value to each facility through a structured interview process. This took an initial step to improve the Air Forces asset management practices; however, it failed to accurately capture the consequence of facility failure in some cases. Although a process to adjudicate the MDI value of individual facilities was created, it is still unknown how much the surveyed MDI value deviates ...


Learning Curves: An Alternative Analysis, Sharif F. Harris Mar 2017

Learning Curves: An Alternative Analysis, Sharif F. Harris

Theses and Dissertations

Learning curves are used to describe and estimate the cost performance of a serial production process. There are numerous different models and methods, however, it is not definitively known which is preferred. The research objective is to performance compare the more common learning curve models. The research goal is improved understanding of the systemic cost drivers of a production process, their relationship to cost, and present modeling methods. The research method is qualitative analysis combined with statistical regression modeling. The research identified that preference for one function or another depended upon the shape of the data and how well a ...


Analysis Of Human And Agent Characteristics On Human-Agent Team Performance And Trust, Anthony J. Hillesheim Mar 2017

Analysis Of Human And Agent Characteristics On Human-Agent Team Performance And Trust, Anthony J. Hillesheim

Theses and Dissertations

The human-agent team represents a new construct in how the United States Department of Defense is orchestrating mission planning and mission accomplishment. In order for mission planning and accomplishment to be successful, several requirements must be met: a firm understanding of human trust in automated agents, how human and automated agent characteristics influence human-agent team performance, and how humans behave. This thesis applies a combination of modeling techniques and human experimentation to understand the concepts aforementioned. The modeling techniques used include static modeling in SysML activity diagrams and dynamic modeling of both human and agent behavior in IMPRINT. Additionally, this ...