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Modelling and Simulation in Engineering
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 736201, 12 pages
Research Article

Integrated Simulation Environment for Unmanned Autonomous Systems—Towards a Conceptual Framework

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, West Virginia University, Evansdale Campus, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA

Received 24 June 2009; Accepted 2 March 2010

Academic Editor: Agostino Bruzzone

Copyright © 2010 M. G. Perhinschi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The paper initiates a comprehensive conceptual framework for an integrated simulation environment for unmanned autonomous systems (UAS) that is capable of supporting the design, analysis, testing, and evaluation from a “system of systems” perspective. The paper also investigates the current state of the art of modeling and performance assessment of UAS and their components and identifies directions for future developments. All the components of a comprehensive simulation environment focused on the testing and evaluation of UAS are identified and defined through detailed analysis of current and future required capabilities and performance. The generality and completeness of the simulation environment is ensured by including all operational domains, types of agents, external systems, missions, and interactions between components. The conceptual framework for the simulation environment is formulated with flexibility, modularity, generality, and portability as key objectives. The development of the conceptual framework for the UAS simulation reveals important aspects related to the mechanisms and interactions that determine specific UAS characteristics including complexity, adaptability, synergy, and high impact of artificial and human intelligence on system performance and effectiveness.