Weapons control re-entry simulation enhancement

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Virginia Tech

Extending weapon systems beyond their design life to cope with the new type of threat(s) is often preferable to new weapon system development. Weapon system performance can be enhanced through hardware and/or software changes. Software changes or enhancements are required in either case. Requirements associated with strategic weapon system (SWS) for a mobile launch platform can result in the use of approximate computations. An example is the computation of the aerodynamic effects which ballistic warheads experience when they descend in the atmosphere. The accuracy of this approach, while adequate for a nuclear SWS, may not be acceptable for a conventional SWS.

This paper describes the motivation and the use of the systems engineering process in a study of the feasibility of incorporating a six-degree-of freedom (6DOF) re-entry simulation into a typical strategic weapon control system (WCS). After the problem is defined, the WCS operational requirements are described and used to guide the optimization of a typical 6DOF re-entry trajectory simulation. A recommendation for further action is based on software testing and evaluation results.

mobile platform, strategic weapon system, readiness time, weapon control system, real-time predictor-corrector