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STUDENT 1: Vicki

What role(s) does modeling and simulation fill in the T&E process?

Modeling and simulation (M&S) is integral to the Test and Evaluation (T&E) process. M&S uses models, emulators, prototypes, stimulator and simulators as T&E tools to gather data for evaluation. It is used mainly in the systems engineering phase to help define the requirements as well as for analyzing and testing the process or system in a controlled laboratory environment. The M&S process is intended to evaluate design concepts and refine capabilities requirements in anticipation of realistic field testing in actual mission environments.

Modeling is the physical task of creating a model of the unit or system. A model can be mathematical, physical or a process. This model is a representation of the actual construction of the item or system. One of the purposes of creating a model is to analyze changes to the system design to be able to predict the effects of changes on the system. Simulations are the actual operation of the model in a virtual or simulated environment. Simulations can be virtual, live or constructive. Simulations test the design and operation of a system to provide data for use in analyzing how the system might react in real-world field tests.

Design flaws, failures and the need for redesign can be caught in modeling and simulation tests on prototypes or models, before the actual production starts. Catching and fixing these defects or failures early in the process can save on cost and schedule overruns. M&S tools are also used to determine both current capabilities future requirements for joint capabilities.

STUDENT 2: Kevin

Modeling and Simulations (M&S) is normally involved with computer hardware simulations, and at the same time consists of real life training environments designed to put the system to the test in its natural environment. In other words the whole point of a simulation is to attempt to know how a system will perform and if it is effective, while the T&E is more so to mitigate risks. Simulations can be broken up into three parts, Constructive Simulations, which are “Computer simulations are strictly mathematical representations of systems and do not employ any actual hardware.” (DAU, 150) Virtual Simulations which normally contains only a portion of the actual hardware that relates to the system, and lastly Live Simulations where troops utilize the equipment in real life scenarios. Because things like how the operator performs with the equipment cannot be simulated by a computer, a model and simulation cannot be used as a substitute for an actual test and evaluation. However, when a simulation is being used, it is important to ensure that the simulation is capable of producing real life details and issues that would appear in a real life scenario. “Models and simulations must be approved for use through verification, validation, and accreditation processes.” (DAU, 152) A benefit of using the M&S is that it can help in the planning of the T&E and therefore can bring down the cost of the testing. M&S can be used to prevent issues and test the design of the system before production ever begins. In what is known as the STEP, Simulation, Test and Evaluation Process, is when the simulations and tests are done simultaneously in order to see if they are both effective.

Original Discussion Question:What role(s) does modeling and simulation fill in the Test & Evaluation (T&E) process?Requirements: Answer all questions completely. Post should be 260 words or more, use only creditable sources.