Mathematical and computational modelling: This research group performs and manages research across the areas of applying modelling and simulation during the smart acquisition process, tactical doctrine development support and the use of modelling and simulation as part of field exercises.
Applying modelling and simulation during the smart acquisition process
The increasing capability and acceptance of modelling and simulation (M&S) as an effective tool to support the acquisition and utilisation of complex systems have in recent times made this an important area in which research institutes worldwide are developing and applying their technology bases. The need for decision support on acquisition programmes of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) offered an opportunity to apply M&S and in so doing, to establish an indigenous modelling and simulation acquisition decision support (MSADS) capability. This system-level M&S capability will in time be expanded to address more system-level issues, and be used in combination with other relevant and supporting simulations.
Tactical doctrine development support
The purpose of tactical doctrine is to utilise the system to the best of its abilities, with humans operating the complex systems, capitalising on the systems' strengths and compensating for system limitations in a planned and coordinated manner. Doctrine development is a dynamic, evolutionary process, driven by the user, facilitated by technical simulations with eventual verification of the doctrine in the simulation laboratory. The latter saves costs and expedites schedules, as it is not always possible to deploy and test systems frequently in the field due to cost and human resource constraints. The process succeeds in drawing the user, the acquisition team together with Armscor, the local industrial system suppliers, and the system-level and M&S expertise in the research group in a dynamic solution-driven team.
The use of modelling and simulation as part of field exercises
Virtual environments provide for dynamically 'deploying' entities in a defined scenario to observe the behaviour, interactions between systems, and estimated performances of systems and sub-systems. Operator interfaces allow for real operator interaction with the system in a realistic manner. Extensive evaluation tools allow various aspects of the system to be observed in real time. This also enables the verification and validation of the various models used and system processes, which can then be used off-line to support further investigations and analysis in a very effective manner from a resource-utilisation viewpoint. These environments are not training facilities, but aim to support the SANDF with new concepts and procedures, although they can be used to demonstrate the training potential of virtual environments. It is a logical next step to integrate the capability into the SANDF's live operational exercises as a means of improved learning and exploiting different solutions during field exercises. This creates a capability and an environment for fast tracking learning, system experimentation and evaluation.
- Ground-based air defence phase 1 (local warning segment) acquisition support
- Support to draft tactical doctrine
- Frigate small guided (FSG) combat systems timeline model.