Volume 44, Number 2

JUNE 2023 I Volume 44, Issue 2

Laura FreemanEditor in Chief


Test the Way We Operate

Welcome to the June issue of the 2023 ITEA Journal.  We are continuing to improve our online delivery of the journal and have added downloadable PDFs to our offerings.  The benefit is twofold – 1) our readers can download easy to print versions of their favorite articles and 2) they are easily searched and available on Google Scholar.

The theme for this issue was: test the way we operate.  Testing in environments that reflect how systems will be used in operation provides an unbiased assessment of performance. This issue showcases best practices and lessons learned from testing in realistic environments. I am especially excited for the application of new digital engineering methods and tools.

To lead off the issue, J. Michael Barton, Ph.D., continues to have conversations with inspiring experts.  In this installment he interviews Mr. James Lackey, a senior VP of Parsons and former Executive Director of the Army Aviation Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center.  Mr. Lackey shares three enduring lessons from his career in flight testing: 1) Plan the Test; Test the Plan; 2) Risk Is Everywhere; Manage It; and 3) Soft Skills are The Hard Skills.

We have three outstanding Workforce of the Future contributions this month with two articles written by students from the US Army Research Laboratory, the DOD High-Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP), and the HPC Internship Program (HIP) as well as an article from a student that participated in the Hume Center Summer Internship Program at Virginia Tech. The articles titles and authors include:

  • Rotor Broadband Noise Modeling and Propeller Wing Interaction by Brendan Smith and Dr. George Jacobellis.
  • Broadband Noise Prediction from Leading Edge Turbulence Quantities by Nikos Trembois and Dr. George Jacobellis
  • Training Generative Adversarial Networks on Small Datasets by way of Transfer Learning by Brian Lee, Logan Eisenbeiser, and Dr. Erin Lanus.

Our first technical article, “Positioning Test and Evaluation for a Digital Paradigm” comes from a team of authors at Virginia Tech and Director, Operational Test and Evaluation.  The article highlights the promise of digital transformation to improve T&E methods, processes, and tools, but also captures the challenges making transitions. 

  • Abstract: In this paper we present a phased approach to help T&E overcome some of the early adoption and implementation challenges of DE transformation, positioning the community to leverage the benefits of this new paradigm.  Our approach advocates for expanded use of DE and model-based systems engineering (MBSE) methods and tools, creating a specialized area of practice referred to as “MBSE for T&E”. We present an “MBSE for T&E” Roadmap with three phases, and outline a path forward for further research and measurement of progress toward achieving DE objectives within T&E.

In our second technical article, “Integrating Safety into Cybersecurity Test and Evaluation,” Dr. Michael G. Lilienthal explores how cyber test and evaluation can benefit from leveraging advances in safety science.

  • Abstract: Several studies and subject matter experts have concluded that most cyber breaches are caused by human error. Program managers developing new weapon systems find the human error causal factor very seductive.  Unfortunately, fixing only human error symptoms can easily become a continuous fight without identifying and mitigating contributory root causes. Safety engineers repeatedly find complex systems almost always fail in complex ways.  The safety lifecycle goals dovetail with those of cybersecurity to achieve high levels of functional safety and cybersecurity during conception, design, operation, testing and maintenance of cyber-physical systems.  The value that the safety science approach adds to cybersecurity is determining why people behaved in the way they did and what weaknesses in the system allowed the breach (loss/accident) to occur. Cybersecurity testers can benefit from the progress safety science has made in methods of accident investigations and hazard analysis to supplement analysis of emerging systems for cyber vulnerabilities and cyber survivability.


Enjoy the Issue!

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