Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Systems Engineering


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

John M. Colombi, PhD


The 2018 National Defense Strategy defines a transition to agile basing, where the logistics footprint of new conceptual systems can be distributed across a set of airfields, instead of one main operating base. Currently, there is no capability to assess early concepts using airfield data. This research develops a methodology and a tool that assesses system concepts using world-wide civil and military airfield infrastructure, such as runway parameters, parking, munitions, fuel and warehouse storage, and distance to areas of interest. Specifically, the focus of the thesis is on concepts for the Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Strike mission. Four concepts were assessed, a Medium-Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) ISR vehicle similar to a MQ-9 Reaper, a light attack aircraft, a light attack jet, and a low-cost attritable aircraft similar to a BQM-167A aerial drone. The tool incorporates Value Focused Thinking, with the value model conditioned by selected design parameters. The system that values a set of airfields the highest would be advantageous in an adaptive basing environment. The MALE ISR platform resulted in a statistically significant difference (nearly 10%) in median value determined by the Wilcoxon signed rank test, then the other systems across a sampled set of 1,197 CONUS airfields.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number