Applying Risk-Based M&S VV&A Techniques to Test and Laboratory Facilities

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Because there can be serious negative consequences from acting on erroneous M&S and analysis conclusions, the DOD has developed and is exercising a risk-based process for verifying, validating and accrediting M&S used in system acquisition.  Basing the M&S VV&A process on risk allows the practitioner to focus activities on the areas of greatest potential impact to the program, and to those areas that reflect the most uncertainty in M&S outputs. 


Test and laboratory facilities can potentially have even greater potential negative consequences to a program than M&S if there are errors present in the test and analysis results; test results are usually considered closer to the “truth” than M&S results, and consequently errors in those test results are more likely to result in inappropriate decisions being made based on those results. 


We are applying the M&S VV&A process to test and laboratory facilities being used to support the testing of a new identification-friend-or-foe (IFF) system at the Naval Air Systems Command.  The use of erroneous outputs from the test facility and analysis process (should they exist) could influence design and implementation decisions. 


This paper will discuss how the risk-based M&S VV&A process is being applied to the test and laboratory facility, issues associated with this different application of the process, and thoughts on the broader applicability of risk-based VV&A beyond the current application.