Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Operations Research


Department of Operational Sciences

First Advisor

Christopher M. Smith, PhD

Second Advisor

Alfred E. Thal, Jr., PhD


Directed energy weapons (DEW) are of interest to the armed forces as they search for more effective ways to deal with evolving threats. The development of these weapons has been ongoing for almost 40 years, despite only one operational fielding by the U.S. Navy in 2014. Some reasons for DEW’s lack of adoption by the services include cost overruns and unclear requirements. Early adoption of human systems integration (HSI) in the military’s acquisition process is shown to provide substantial cost savings over the life of the system. Quantifying the application of HSI within a DEW acquisition program is addressed through decision analysis using value-focused thinking (VFT). The VFT model helps program managers and HSI practitioners balance total system performance and cost of ownership. Knowledge gathered from expert elicitation was used to create the decision model consisting of objectives in a hierarchal format. The proposed VFT model is a beginning step that allows for an objective analysis of HSI efforts in a DEW acquisition program. Further work is required to make the model practical for use.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number



co-advised thesis