Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Systems Engineering


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Brent T. Langhals, PhD.


Due to the increasing quantity of data collected by Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) assets and the focus on timely access to the data collected by these systems, operational data transfer network architectures have become a critical component of their employment in the intelligence production process. Efficient utilization of the provided long-haul communications component of the ISR system improves the value of the single asset to the warfighter and enables connectivity of additional assets via the data transfer network architecture. This research effort focused on the creation and implementation of a structured test design methodology based on the principles of Design of Experiments to propose recommendations for optimization of one such operational architecture while avoiding the common pitfalls of inadequate and inefficient test design and implementation. Factors that could influence the performance of the data transfer network architecture were researched and evaluated to recommend the factors of interest that most greatly affect the efficiency of the operational architecture. To support this evaluation, an emulated network testbed was utilized to develop a representative model of system efficiency. The results of this model indicate that increased aggressiveness for data transfer leads to decreased efficiency in the attempt to utilize available network resources, especially in realm of operations under study that represent non-traditional bandwidth delay product (BDP) networks where network delay is the dominating factor in the determination of BDP. The analysis documented a baseline model of system performance that will be used to guide ongoing maintenance, sustainment and enhancement efforts for the current data transfer capability and provides insight into the recommended test design process for use in development and deployment of future capabilities. The ability to model system performance through the use of a structured and straight-forward process allows for the inclusion of the test design and analysis process in software design and development, as well as, system deployment and operations improvements.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number