A technical evaluation of fiber distributed data interface and asynchronous transfer mode for defense information infrastructure upgrades

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Virginia Tech


The purpose of this paper is to describe a technical evaluation process as applied to the Warner Robins Air Logistic Center (WR-ALC) Defense Information Infrastructure (DII) upgrade effort. The result is a practical example of how the systems engineering process and methodologies can be applied in order to implement solutions for the modernization of technical infrastructure upgrades to a campus metropolitan area network.

The WR-ALC has been selected as one of the first sites for the demonstration of the DII. The DII is a Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) initiative that proposes to provide the engineering integration for communications infrastructure to support a suite of DoD standard systems. Bases must respond to the implementations of an evolving suite of DoD standard applications and must ensure that they develop the necessary information infrastructure. In most cases the current base level infrastructure is not sufficient to support the new applications. The challenge is to modernize and integrate the technical infrastructure in support of planned standard systems in a efficient and effective manner.

This paper demonstrates the use of systems engineering evaluation techniques to determine the optimal technological approach to an engineering requirement. Problem requirements are defined and two technical solutions are evaluated based on compliance to the defined requirements, risk associated with each technological solution, and life cycle costs. A trade-off analysis is conducted to further identify the proper technological solution to pursue. Once a solution is identified, the implementation is taken through the detailed design phase and future areas of consideration are addressed.