This is one of a series of systems engineering case studies prepared by the Air Force Center for Systems Engineering. This case study analyzes the Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). The Global Hawk is an advanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance air system composed of a high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned air vehicle (UAV) and a common ground segment (CGS) for command, control, and data collection. Its primary mission is to provide overt, continuous, long-endurance, all-weather, day/night, and near-real-time, wide-area reconnaissance and surveillance. The air vehicle is coupled with an integrated ground-based Mission Control Element (MCE) and Launch and Recovery Element (LRE) that monitors autonomous flight and facilitates-aided control of the air vehicle, when required. The Global Hawk system consists of the aircraft, payloads, data links, ground stations, and logistics support package. The ground stations have the ability to provide command and control (C2) of up to three vehicles and at least one air vehicle payload from a single ground station.
The study provides a wealth of technical information about the aircraft and its complex history.
The Department of Defense is exponentially increasing the acquisition of joint complex systems that deliver needed capabilities demanded by our warfighter. Systems engineering is the technical and technical management process that focuses explicitly on delivering and sustaining robust, high-quality, affordable solutions. The Air Force leadership has collectively stated the need to mature a sound systems engineering process throughout the Air Force. Gaining an understanding of the past and distilling learning principles that are then shared with others through our formal education and practitioner support are critical to achieving continuous improvement.
These cases support academic instruction on SE within military service academies, civilian and military graduate schools, industry continuing education programs, and those practicing SE in the field. Each of the case studies is comprised of elements of success as well as examples of SE decisions that, in hindsight, were not optimal. Both types of examples are useful for learning. Along with discovering historical facts, we have conducted key interviews with program managers and chief engineers, both within the government and those working for the various prime and subcontractors. From this information, we have concluded that the discipline needed to implement SE and the political and acquisition environment surrounding programs continue to challenge our ability to provide balanced technical solutions.
Chapter 1. SYSTEMS ENGINEERING PRINCIPLES * 1.1 GENERAL SYSTEMS ENGINEERING PROCESS * 1.1.1 Introduction * 1.1.2 Evolving Systems Engineering Process * 1.1.3 Case Studies * 1.1.4 Framework for Analysis * 1.2 GLOBAL HAWK MAJOR LEARNING PRINCIPLES AND FRIEDMAN-SAGE MATRIX * Chapter 2. GLOBAL HAWK DESCRIPTIONS * 2.1 MISSION * 2.2 GLOBAL HAWK SYSTEM * 2.2.1 Air Vehicle * 2.2.2 Common Ground Segment * 2.2.3 Support Segment * Chapter 3. GLOBAL HAWK PROGRAM * 3.1 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND * 3 .2 ADVANCED CONCEPT TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (ACTD) PHASE * 3.2.1 Original Acquisition Strategy * 3.2.2 Phase I * 3.2.3 Phase II * 3.2.4 Phase III * 3.2.5 Phase IV * 3.2.6 Summary of ACTD * 3.2.7 Collier Trophy * 3.3 ENGINEERING AND MANUFACTURING DEVELOPMENT (EMD)/PRODUCTION PHASE * 3.3.1 EMD * 3.3.2 Production * 3.3.3 Supporting Contractors * 3.3.4 Australian Deployment * 3.3.5 Combat Deployments to Southwest Asia * 3.3.6 Combat Losses * 3.3.7 Spiral 2 * 3.3.8 Organizational Structure * 3.3.9 Navy Global Hawk * 3.3.10 Production Lots 2 and 3 * 3.3.11 German Demonstration * 3.3.12 Block 10 Flight Test * 3.3.13 Airworthiness Certification of Block 10 * 3.3.14 Nunn-McCurdy Breach and Recertification * Chapter 4. SUMMARY * Chapter 5. REFERENCES * 6. APPENDICES
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