Nov 29, 2023
This report describes the resilience assessment framework that RAND Project AIR FORCE developed to assess the potential impact of integrating select commercial space services on U.S. Space Force (USSF) mission performance. Applying the framework to two example USSF missions, the authors show how the framework could provide a principled and flexible evaluation method for various USSF missions.
Assessing Commercial Contributions to U.S. Space Force Mission Resilience
Published Apr 27, 2023
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Over the past few years, commercial space services have significantly increased in capability and capacity in many missions of interest to the U.S. Space Force (USSF). As the USSF considers incorporating such commercial space services into its missions, it needs a principled and flexible assessment framework for evaluating how commercial contributions affect the performance and resilience of various USSF missions.
This report describes the resilience assessment framework that RAND Project AIR FORCE developed to assess the potential impact of select commercial services on USSF space mission performance. The framework includes four components to help analysts consider the additional mission performance and mission resilience that a proposed commercial service could provide.
The prospect of incorporating commercial capabilities into defense missions also raises the question of trustworthiness and information assurance. The assessment framework includes a subframework focused on grading information contributions from commercial services for trustworthiness.
To demonstrate how the framework can be tailored to diverse missions by specifying the relevant mission assets or infrastructure, the commercial services available, and the mission performance measures, the authors apply the framework to two example missions: tactical intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance and data transmit and receive network. They then discuss their findings and propose several recommendations for the USSF to fully leverage the benefits of evaluating commercial capabilities with the resilience assessment framework.