Lisa M. Fink

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (MSE)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Hugh W. Coleman

Committee Member

D. Brian Landrum

Committee Member

Francis C. Wessling


Weapons systems--Testing, Weapons--Technological assessment


The objective of this thesis is to analyze the uncertainty of indirect fire weapons against targets of various types and vulnerabilities as they appear on the battlefield. In order to analyze the effectiveness and associated uncertainty of a firing event, the appropriate analytical methods must be selected, and then weapon and target characteristics can be applied. Such characteristics include sensor error, aiming and delivery errors of weapons, and target vulnerabilities.For this analysis, a Monte Carlo simulation was used to conduct probability of kill calculations. The uncertainties of the sensor, shooter and round were analyzed to understand the overall impact those errors have on the effectiveness of the firing event.This study found that the type of distribution selected to represent the input data for the Monte Carlo simulation significantly influences the outcome of the engagement. Also, if the accuracy of the shooter and round is high, the sensor error dominates the resulting probability of kill, making the design for the sensor critical to the success of the engagement. When the accuracy of the shooter and round is low, the error of the shooter has a greater influence on the probability of kill than the error of the round. When this is true, the focus of the design effort should be placed on improving the design of the shooter rather than the accuracy of the round.



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