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Capabilities and Contributions

Applied Systems Engineering Program Area

The Applied Systems Engineering Program Area builds on APL’s systems engineering legacy, which traces its origins to the founding of the Laboratory during World War II. This program area supports the leadership of the Services and the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Engineering by providing the disciplined systems engineering analytical support necessary to assess the complex systems that address the critical challenges of our nation, including weapons systems and critical medical capabilities. This systems approach is also applied to support the military utility assessment of the Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) program. Additionally, the Applied Systems Engineering Program Area provides analytical support for warfighters and Department of Defense (DoD) engineering leadership through wargaming and collaborative analysis. The program area also provides a systems view of social sciences research in support of the Special Operations community.

For more information about our Applied Systems Engineering Program Area work, please contact us.

Systems Engineering

Systems Engineering for Information Systems Efficiency, Integration, and Value Engineering. This project for the Defense Information Systems Agency uses systems engineering to support the establishment of agency-wide programs in information systems efficiencies, cross-program/portfolio integration, and value engineering by creating the supporting framework, techniques, and mechanisms to identify opportunities, evaluate alternatives, and identify solutions.

Medical Systems Engineering. In support of the U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, this project involves the evaluation and analysis of internal processes within certain functional areas at various Navy Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs). The goal of this effort is to improve the efficiency and performance of health care within focused functional areas at the facilities selected. Areas that have been studied include orthopedics, obstetrics and gynecology, and emergency medicine, as well as the MTFs’ ancillary and support functions (e.g., pharmacy, imaging/radiology, laboratory, operating rooms, central sterilization, logistics, central distribution and replenishment, etc.). This task involves on-site observation, data collection and analysis, the development of performance metrics, and the design and implementation of new processes to increase efficiency (and lower cost) within these functional areas.

Military/Operational Utility Assessments

Joint Capability Technology Demonstrations (JCTDs). These projects provide military/operational utility assessment and related support to the Operational Managers at combatant commands responsible for the JCTD. The effort includes development of assessment metrics, assessment plan documentation for each demonstration event, observation and data collection for each demonstration event at field test sites and/or government locations, analysis and reporting for each demonstration event, and the overall assessment of the military/operational utility.

Special and Irregular Warfare Studies and Analysis

Assessing Revolutionary and Insurgent Strategies (ARIS). The ARIS studies comprise research conducted for the U.S. Army Special Operations Command (G-3X Special Programs Division). The project follows in the tradition of American University’s Special Operations Research Office (SORO), adding to and updating the research SORO conducted in the 1950s and 1960s and taking into account the growth of non-state actors since that time. A collection of academically rigorous yet operationally relevant research on historical and current irregular warfare conflicts, ARIS seeks to illustrate a common understanding of revolution and insurgency. This research allows users to distill material from many campaigns and extract relevant lessons—providing situational awareness and historical perspectives on the conflicts’ causes, players, and resolutions and enabling the development of future doctrine, professional education, and training.

Asymmetric Working Group (AWG) Analysis and Engineering. APL supports the U.S. Army’s AWG by providing analyses, assessments, and recommendations regarding systems, technical capabilities, and threats within specified regions and operating environments. AWG’s commander reports to the chief of staff of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command and, as such, provides operational advisory and solution development support globally to the Army and Joint Force Commanders. Specifically, APL conducts warfare analysis and provides exercise and seminar support services to the working groups designed to predict emergent behavior of threats. APL is also working closely with the AWG Integrated Solution Teams, which are responsible for incubating solutions to important Army problems. Currently, APL is assisting AWG in developing the concept of “narrative engagement” as a new way to conduct military operations. This concept is specifically being developed to provide a common approach for soldiers to communicate effectively and accurately on the battlefield to both internal and external audiences, whose perceptions, understanding, and decisions are relevant to strategic, operational, and tactical mission success. The process involves quantitative approaches for identifying prevailing narrative in a population, a procedure for developing counter-narratives, best practices for delivering a counter-narrative, and finally a way to assess the effectiveness of a narrative after it has been delivered.

National Command Program Area

The National Command Program Area works to provide assured, continuous senior leader and interagency communications to the National Leadership Command Capability (NLCC) community, which includes senior leaders in the Executive Office of the President (EOP), the DoD, and other federal executive departments and agencies. The National Command Program Area has a particular focus on national senior leader command, control, and communications (C3), nuclear C3, and national security/emergency preparedness (NS/EP) communications. APL carries out architecture analysis, end-to-end systems engineering, and independent verification and validation (IV&V) through prototyping, integration, and testing. We also provide technical advice for policy development and resource management decisions. The program area supports a broad set of efforts that provide the DoD chief information officer and the greater NLCC community with assured C3 across all operating environments.

For more information about our National Command Program Area work, please contact us.

Enterprise and Systems Architecture

NLCC Enterprise and Systems Architecture. The architecture work supporting the senior leader community is cross-cutting, including broad DoD, EOP, and interagency participation. APL has multiple projects advising current and future NLCC mission environments and the information systems that support them. The focus is on developing and enabling next-generation, assured C3 across all operating environments—maritime, airborne, ground mobile, travel, and fixed.

Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) Testing

Secure Communications Assessment Network (SeCAN) Test Center. This is a unique, independent integration and assessment test bed that emulates existing legacy environments and develops future NLCC and interagency communications environments and technology solutions. The breadth of work in the SeCAN laboratory mitigates performance shortfalls in current systems and validates proposed modernization strategies. Core functions include root cause analysis, performance testing, IV&V of future solutions, and validation of architectures and modernization approaches for the purposes of future architecture development and out-year acquisition planning.

Senior Leader Secure Mobile Communications Analysis. This effort involves the development, testing, and analysis of next-generation secure mobility solutions, including both specialized radio systems and commercial technologies using Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC) architectures. APL has developed pilot prototypes that validate future capabilities and serve as exemplars for NLCC integration.

National Test and Measurement Exercise Analysis. This effort involves the objective, repeatable quantitative testing and analysis of critical voice and voice conferencing systems in operational environments. By characterizing the end-to-end performance of the various interconnected systems, APL is able to identify root causes of shortfalls and recommend changes to systems, concepts of operation, or tactics, techniques, and procedures; implement strategies for the operational environment; and drive legacy improvement and modernization.

Strategic Technical Advisory for Policy Development and Resource Management Analysis

National and Nuclear C3 Advisory. This is a multi-project work area that includes policy support, technical analysis, and program modernization advisories for the development of cryptographic roadmaps and strategies; force direction advisories on NLCC-based acquisition strategies for future solutions; technical advisories for NLCC cyber risk assessments; and communications with other nations (CWON) advisories.

Resource Management Decision Studies. This work area encompasses those trade studies and analysis activities, such as analysis of alternatives, cost modeling, and capabilities-based assessments, that support critical Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution (PPBE) decisions.

End-to-End Systems Engineering

Senior Leader Secure Communications Modernization. This is a broad multi-sponsor program that analyzes senior leader secure communications challenges and develops interim and long-term architectures and implementation strategies. This program leverages a number of other National Command Program activities in order to reduce senior leader core infrastructure complexity and enhance end-user experience regardless of environment.

National Security and Emergency Preparedness (NS/EP) Communications. This effort works across the DoD, the Department of Homeland Security, and the NS/EP Executive Committee Joint Program Office in developing technical strategies, analyzing end-to-end architectures, and conducting requirements analysis. It focuses on senior national leadership and their ability to communicate to their federal, state, and local counterparts during any number of crises.

Senior Leader Wideband Airborne Communications Analysis. This effort provides senior leadership C3 airborne systems advisory and analysis. It focuses on wideband communications analysis, business case analysis, and airborne systems evaluation with the goal of extending robust communications services to the senior leader while in an airborne environment.

Security Analysis and Assessments Program Area

The Security Analysis and Assessment Program Area supports senior Office of the Secretary of Defense, naval, combatant command, and fleet leadership decisions with robust analytic results based on a thorough understanding of operations, systems, and technology. Specifically, this program area assesses current operation plans and operations to identify capabilities and requirements for future systems and forces, as well as the impact of new technology, operational concepts, and integrated systems. Additionally, the program area evaluates current technologies and capabilities to identify opportunities to close capability gaps at reduced costs through repurposed technologies or capabilities.

For more information about our Security Analysis and Assessments Program Area work, please contact us.

Agent-Based Modeling

Ship Capabilities Against Near- and Mid-Term, Advanced Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles (ASCM). This study employs a multitude of sensor, weapon, Aegis combat system, and environmental computational models to evaluate the effectiveness of current and planned shipboard integrated systems in countering advanced ASCM threats. Study results are used to inform the Program Objective Memorandum for 2014 and beyond for our Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) N81P (“Sea Shield”) sponsor.

Manpower Analysis

Shore and Operational Support Manpower (SOSM) Model. This effort for OPNAV N12 involved the development of a prototype manpower analysis model that provided a more efficient, automated methodology by which the Navy can determine the minimum shore manpower requirements to support operational and front-line/forward deployed units.

Modeling and Simulation Verification, Validation, and Accreditation

OPNAV N814 Modeling Accreditation Project. This project provides analytical and technical expertise for OPNAV N814 accreditation efforts through development and implementation of procedures for the consistent assessment, based on extensive acceptability criteria, of Navy models having input into the Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution (PPBE) system.

Software Systems Engineering

Shipboard and Aviation Force Effectiveness for General Air and Raid Defenses (SAFEGARD). This project entails general systems engineering support to OPNAV N816 in the design, development, and testing of the SAFEGARD integrated air and missile defense model.