The System Engineering and Test (TSET) Approach for Unprecedented Systems
Weiss, Lora G.
Cross, Stephen E.
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The rapid pace of development of new systems coupled with a strong desire from warfighters to quickly field systems with advanced technologies and innovation poses new Test and Evaluation (T&E) challenges. These challenges start with the realization that most T&E procedures are derived from a historical, requirements-based approach to acquisition, which inherently is a sequential process. For innovative and unprecedented systems, i.e., the kind of system for which there is no experience in building similar systems or in their test or use, T&E cannot follow a sequential approach. Throughout military history, development of unprecedented systems has occurred when there has been a simultaneous advance in technology and operational need such as is occurring now in the domain of unmanned systems. T&E needs to evolve to be integrated with the development process. Waiting for the results of developmental and operational testing will only exacerbate the delay in rapidly fielding advanced capabilities. This article presents the tenets of using the system engineering and test approach for evaluating unprecedented systems and moving testing to the forefront of the system development process.
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