The U.S. military and domestic security agencies have been battling terrorism across many domains, including the maritime domain. Preventing terrorists from exploiting the world’s oceans to attack the United States, its forces, its force projection capability, and other interests is a very serious concern for national leadership. The Maritime Domain Protection Research Group (MDP-RG) at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) is engaged in campus-wide research to address this concern.
Members of the MDP Research Group's Systems Engineering and Integration (SE&I) team were tasked with providing focus to the numerous efforts of government agencies and organizations involved in Maritime Domain Protection (MDP).
The goal is to determine what functional capabilities and system architecture would best meet the nation’s need for a nationally integrated MDP system. The process involves assessing current MDP capabilities, comparing those capabilities to the notional MDP structure, and identifying how the two can be brought together to establish a more complete and effective system.
The SE&I team began with a review of the current status of the national Maritime Domain Protection structure, achieved through a comprehensive literature review, participation in relevant nationwide symposia and seminars, and significant interaction with MDP stakeholders. The MDP-RG facilitated this research by hosting the June Threat and Vulnerability Assessment Symposium and the August MDP Symposium.
The SE&I team has prepared a summary of findings to date, the “As Is” National Maritime Domain Protection System report.
“Our research was very illuminating,” stated SE&I team member Mr. Mark Stevens, P.E., “we have a much better idea about where to focus our efforts and how to maximize limited resources.” This report has been designated For Official Use Only (FOUO). For further details, please contact Mr. Stevens.
As this project continues, the SE&I team will develop a Maritime Domain Protection (MDP) System that will have the capability to: (i) discover, interrupt, and eliminate unconventional maritime attacks against U.S. territory and priority assets, and/or its domestic population, by any adversary, particularly terrorists, as early as possible and as far as possible from U.S. shores; and (ii) adapt or readjust itself as necessary to threat evolution and changes in vulnerabilities.
This robust MDP System will have the capability to assess threats and vulnerabilities and will admit a concept of operations across multiple lines of maritime defense and domains (i.e., space, air, and land), coordinated through a national command and control. To reach its goal, the Maritime Domain Protection Research Group will investigate the development or insertion of new technologies and other investment requirements and strategies and develop a roadmap for a phased implementation of the MDP System, based on a realistic view of what is effective and affordable in the short-term and the long-term.
Systems Engineering Integration (SE&I) is one of three primary independent efforts that form the core of this research project. The overall objective of Systems Engineering and Integration effort is: (i) to integrate all technical efforts of the NPS multi-disciplined MDP-RG team to achieve the Research Group objective, (ii) to perform comprehensive systems engineering and design to establish architecture for the MDP system and its concepts of operations, and (iii) to develop a roadmap for phased implementation of the MDP System.
To meet its objective, SE&I will perform the following general tasks during the next four years:
- Define the MDP problem.
- Integrate inputs from the various departments, agencies, and organizations engaged in maritime defense (known as stakeholders).
- Perform architecture design and analysis.
- Design feasible alternative MDP systems.
- Conduct performance analysis of these MDP alternatives using war gaming combat simulation, business models, and other analytical techniques.
- Perform a ranking analysis of these MDP alternatives.
- Develop concepts of operations for the selected systems.
- Develop a roadmap to implement the selected systems.
- Perform project integration, scheduling, and planning.
During the first year, SE&I will perform the following specific tasks:
- Conduct a literature review and collect information from major stakeholders.
- Participate in Maritime Defense seminars and games.
- Describe the current state of MDP, through literature review and stakeholder analysis.
- Participate in threat characterization.
- Perform MDP functional analysis.
- Perform MDP system requirements analysis.
- Develop an initial needs and requirements document.
- Model a preliminary prototype of an MDP system.
- Provide a detailed research schedule and a proposal for follow-on efforts.
This multi-year effort will focus on the delivery of a proposed architecture, which will be used during the implementation phase of the MDP research to design and develop an MDP system.
The development of the MDP system architecture will take into account both technical and organizational constraints.
Technical Constraints. The MDP system will enable detection and interdiction to occur as early as possible and as far as possible from and near U.S. shores. To provide for a comprehensive “defense in depth” approach to prevention, the MDP concept of operations will involve multiple and layered lines of defense – abroad, in transit on the seas, approaching U.S. littorals and ports, and inside the U.S., coordinated through a national command and control.
Organizational Constraints. As multiple federal departments and their component organizations, state and local governments, and even the private sector, are critical to the success of maritime defense, the design of the MDP system will take into account guidance from many organizations and communities, including but not limited to, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, and component organizations such as the U.S. Customs Service, NORTHCOM, the Navy, the Coast Guard, and the Transportation Security Agency, state and local government, port operations and authorities, shipping companies, and vessel operators.
Five full-time NPS faculty members with many years of systems engineering and project management experience are committed to the SE&I project. NPS students from the Navy, Coast Guard, Northern Command, and other MDP project participants will collaborate on the project. The SE&I approach pertains to two areas: Research Project Integration and Systems Engineering.
Research Project Integration
To enable a coordinated effort to develop the MDP system, SE&I will integrate and coordinate all diverse MDP-RG technical efforts at NPS and monitor the research project status by evaluating the progress of all technical efforts against the overall schedule and milestones. In addition to open communications, a bi-weekly MDP-RG status meeting provides feedback, thereby facilitating monitoring of project progress.
To ensure that the necessary interagency cooperation is fostered, SE&I engaged the stakeholders from the very start of this MDP research project. SE&I will also consult with other academic institutions engaged in parallel research efforts in order to build upon and complement those efforts.
SE&I will apply various engineering disciplines and innovative approaches to system design and performance to carry out the development of the MDP system. In particular, SE&I will engage in three main areas:
- Systems Architecture Engineering
- Technical Performance Analysis
- Modeling and Simulation
SE&I will perform mission definition, requirements analysis, functional analysis, tradeoff studies, system analysis, system modeling and simulation, risk mitigation and management, technology assessment, and road mapping.
Systems Architecture Engineering. An MDP system architecture consists of elements with behaviors and processes interconnected and operating under certain constraints. An SE&I guiding principle in MDP system architecting is close collaboration and consultation with the stakeholders to ensure accuracy and reasonableness of representations of systems, missions, and measures of performance and effectiveness. SE&I employs an MDP architecture engineering process, which, parenthetically, can be adopted with necessary modifications to determine architectures for any military system. Set in motion by the MDP problem, the sub-processes of the MDP architecture engineering process are executed in an iterative manner to arrive at MDP system needs, ranked MDP system architecture options, and a selected MDP system architecture.
Technical Performance Analysis. SE&I will perform simulative analysis to assess performance of MDP system alternatives, according to a set of defined measures of performance and effectiveness.
Modeling and Simulation. The simulative analysis employs modeling and simulation. MDP models represent the MDP system functions and implement related algorithms. SE&I will employ various simulations, either in existence here at NPS or elsewhere or to be developed.
NPS Team Members
Dr. Tom Huynh, Lead
Dr. Orin Marvel
Dr. John Osmundson
Dr. Gene Paulo
Mr. Mark Stevens, PE
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