Aerial Search Optimization Model (ASOM) for UAVs in Special Operations

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We construct an optimization model that assists commanders, operators, and planners to effectively deploy and employ unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in special operations missions. Specifically, we consider situations where targets (e.g., insurgents) enter a region of interest and a small special operations team is assigned to search and detect these targets. The special operations team is equipped with short-range surveillance UAVs. We combine intelligence regarding the targets with availability and capability of UAVs in an integer linear programming model. The goal is to detect the largest possible number of targets with the given resources. The model prescribes optimal deployment locations for the ground units and optimal time-phased search areas for the UAVs. The model has been implemented successfully in four field experiments. Preliminary empirical evidence indicates that the model provides 50 increase in detection opportunities compared with a plan manually generated by experienced commanders.
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  • Military Operations Research is the leading peer-reviewed journal publishing articles in the fields that describe operations research (OR) methodologies and theories used in key military applications.

    MOR specifically invites papers that are significant military OR applications. Of particular interest are papers that present case studies showing innovative OR applications, apply OR to major policy issues, introduce interesting new problem areas, highlight educational issues, and document the history of military OR.
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