Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Systems Engineering


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Brent Langhals, PhD.


Unlike aircrew directly associated with acquisitions, line operators are not fully engaged in the methods to push materiel hardware or software change requests up the chain, to a decision maker, and then to the engineers. The Air Force trains these end users to logically apply expert systems knowledge to execute the mission but has not fully leveraged this resource for properly identifying and correcting operational shortfalls in an aircraft's design. Focusing on the Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) community, the research goal is to determine if the Air Force should establish a formal program for collecting and prioritizing unsolicited user change requests from operators, and if so, how should the process be implemented and what characteristics should the system possess. This Delphi study sought consensus from a panel of MQ-1 and MQ-9 expert operators on desired characteristics and basic architecture. The analysis revealed that the deficiency reporting program, traditionally focused on Test and Evaluation squadrons, meets many of the desired characteristics but could be improved to meet all of them. Additionally, cockpit development could improve through supplementing the already established Cockpit Working Groups with a commercially developed tool with many of the desired characteristics.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number