by Jeanne Dailey
Air Force Research Laboratory
12/23/2015 - KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- The
Air Force Research Laboratory commander, Maj. Gen. Thomas Masiello,
wants an integrated analysis capability and common framework that allows
understanding the effectiveness of directed energy and kinetic weapons,
whether used separately, cooperatively or synergistically.
To meet this need, AFRL created the Integrated Weapons Environment for
Analysis, or IWEA, which brings together, for the first time, analysis
tools that are used to evaluate the effectiveness and military utility
of potential weapons technologies into a common analysis environment.
Before IWEA, the military utility attributed to a particular weapon
technology was assessed individually with varying degrees of fidelity.
"Bringing the tools together in a common analysis environment increases
the overall fidelity and allows analysts to consider the synergistic
benefit of combining different technologies like kinetic and directed
energy weapons," Masiello said. "IWEA provides a comprehensive weapons
strategy to better meet warfighter needs."
The IWEA project began in 2012 as a multi-directorate project under the
AFRL Commander's Research and Development Fund with researchers from the
Aerospace Systems, Directed Energy, Human Effectiveness, Munitions, and
Sensors Directorates supporting development. AFRL's chief technologist
Dr. Morley Stone highlighted IWEA as a "shining example of AFRL
Masiello designated the Directed Energy Directorate as the lead
directorate with Linda Lamberson as program manager responsible for
leading integration of the directed energy analysis tools into the IWEA
Capt. Melanie Walton, the deputy program manager from the Munitions
Directorate, was responsible for leveraging and enhancing existing
kinetic weapon analysis tools and for providing the Endgame Framework
software that was used to integrate all of the lethality tools
together. IWEA is also now using the Analytical Framework for
Simulation, Integration, and Modeling for all mission level simulation
Leveraging from research in autonomy, the Aerospace Systems team
provided novel aircraft/weapons employment optimization tools to rapidly
and efficiently explore the best combination of weapons and weapons
load-outs for specific mission areas. Human Effectiveness provided
tools to evaluate collateral personnel hazards from directed energy
employment. Sensors provided the interface to their high fidelity
sensing data analysis toolset.
"AFRL envisions many uses for the IWEA environment," Lamberson said.
"AFRL technologists can use IWEA to identify specific design
requirements that will support research and inform technology investment
decisions, ultimately resulting in capabilities that better meet our
warfighter needs. Also, analysts from AFRL or other Air Force and
Department of Defense agencies can use IWEA to generate weapon
effectiveness data for use in military utility studies designed to
evaluate alternatives to meet specific mission needs."
Modeling and simulation is a critical component of AFRL's support to Air Force development planning, Masiello said.
"AFRL is leading the way for the Air Force in new modeling and
simulation paradigms which includes IWEA. The integration of IWEA with
our AFSIM modeling program will be a powerful combination of AFRL
M&S tools directly supporting development of national defense