Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Alfred E. Thal, Jr., PhD


The radars used for Space Domain Awareness (SDA) are inherently all-weather, day/night sensors capable of around the clock operations. Despite this fact, some radars are operated for fewer than their maximum operating capabilities. The decision-making process for selecting the operating hours of a sensor has historically been based on only a few factors or just one. This research uses the techniques in Value Focused Thinking to develop an evaluation process to score possible alternatives and find the alternative with the most value for the decision maker. By investigating the value that is added by operating an SDA radar, it is possible to create a quantitative evaluation process for determining the most efficient operating schedule for an SDA radar that maximizes benefits to users while minimizing operating costs. In this research, a specific radar is used for the development of this technique. By evaluating the C-Band Australia radar, located in Exmouth, Western Australia, the research found that the quantity of data produced by the radar was the most valuable aspect of the radar and minimizing the hours out of mission per day (i.e., downtime) is the best alternative. The analysis in this research explored the trade-offs between added benefits of operating hours with the additional costs those additional hours will incur. As a result, a recommendation for 24/7 operations was produced and a methodology for evaluating other SDA radars was created.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number