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Next Generation Weapons Mission Planning


TECH FOCUS AREAS: AI/Machine Learning; General Warfighting Requirements (GWR) TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems; Air Platform; Battlespace OBJECTIVE: Demonstrate next generation Weapons Mission Planning software working in the Next-Generation Open Mission Systems (NOMS) architecture. DESCRIPTION: Today's aircrews face increasingly complex and capable threat systems. Next generation weapons and tactics are in development to overcome and defeat these threats. These highly sophisticated systems of systems require large quantities of data seamlessly coordinated across multiple platforms at different classification levels. Due to this, workloads are placed on the planners that are orders of magnitude greater than past weapon systems, yet the planners have less time than ever to complete the work. To overcome these challenges; new mission planning capabilities with seamless data sharing, automated processes, and artificial Intelligence must be deployed faster than our adversaries can adapt to them. Currently, the majority of the Air Force uses the Joint Mission Planning System (JMPS) to plan their flights. JMPS enables mission planners to create a flight plan based on multiple inputs including threats, targets, terrain, weather, aircraft performance capability and configuration. JMPS has been in the field for nearly 20 years, and is becoming increasingly outdated. The antiquated software architecture results in less than ideal planning times. To prepare for the future, the Air Force and Navy are jointly developing a next generation software architecture called Next-generation Open Mission Systems (NOMS). NOMS is a cloud-based architecture, in which Mission Planning software capabilities will be developed and fielded as microservices. As the Air Force transitions to this new architecture, the Mission Planning Program Office is seeking innovative solutions to improve weapons planning in NOMS. Areas include: •Development of core weapons planning capabilities in microservices architecture to decouple dependencies of Mission Planning features resulting in a more robust and reliable planning experience that can be quickly updated when required •Integrating machine learning and artificial intelligence to weapons delivery and threat avoidance, continuously improving and enhancing the planning workflow allowing for faster, more efficient, and better results •Increasing process automation to eliminate manual weapons planning where possible in order to decrease planning times while improving quality of results •Development of a next generation fly-out model (FOM) service enabling multiple planning microservices to share common weapon models in order to provide a common interface and architecture that enables quick and easy extension for new weapons •Enhancing weapons planning user experience, including workflows and user interface improvements to provide intuitive and easy to use Mission Planning tools •Seamless integration of weapon delivery planning, modeling and simulation, and weaponeering to include collateral damage assessment in order to provide greater fidelity and success rates when preparing a strike mission •Develop tools to provide communication line of sight (LOS) analysis for network enabled weapons (NEW) ensuring controllers can communicate with the weapons when required throughout a mission •Augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) implementation for weapons planning to provide planners increased visibility for complex integrated 4D strike package planning •Enhanced seamless cloud services linking target, weather, threat and other essential mission data from multiple sources to facilitate automated weapon planning processes PHASE I: Investigate feasibility of one or multiple topic areas and provide innovative ideas to efficiently improve Mission Planning execution. The Phase I effort should also conclude with a sound understanding of the architectural approach required for development. PHASE II: Phase I study will be leveraged to develop prototype software that can be integrated into the NOMS architecture providing enhanced weapons planning capability. The software should accomplish one or multiple goals that are addressed in the topic areas and be stable enough to show basic functionality. PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Phase II prototype will be refined and developed into fully working, robust software. Phase III will also look to include additional functionality not present in the Phase II prototype. REFERENCES: 1. 2. 3.
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