YOUNG ENGINEER IN SURVIVABILITY: JAMIE EDWARDS
by Linda Moss
The Joint Aircraft Survivability Program Office (JASPO) is pleased to recognize Mr. James (Jamie) Edwards as its latest Young Engineer in Survivability. An accomplished operations research analyst, Jamie works in the Survivability/Lethality Analysis Directorate (SLAD) of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD.
His career in survivability began in 2003, when he was a high school student contractor at ARL, and he continued to work part time at the laboratory throughout his college years. During that period, he collaborated with senior scientists and engineers to develop and employ computer models and simulations for assessing the vulnerability of Army combat systems, both ground and air, to conventional threats.
In 2008, after graduating from the University of Maryland with a double major in mathematics and economics, Jamie transitioned to full-time employment in SLAD’s System Engineering and Experimentation Branch (SEEB). Since then, he has worked on projects managed by the major tri-Service survivability/vulnerability (S/ V) programs (e.g., JASP and Joint Live Fire [JLF]) as well as performed S/ V and lethality research in ARL/SLAD core mission areas. Now, with 13 years of combined empirical and analytical experience in S/ V, Jamie is a technical project leader in SEEB. His most recent assignments include conducting live-fire testing to refine analytical methods for predicting shock- induced detonation of warhead explosive materials. This predictive capability is an important factor for determining lethality in a Live Fire Test & Evaluation (LFT&E) program for a major Army air-defense missile system.
The following sections describe some of Jamie’s accomplishments in S/ V, reflecting his technical abilities, work experience, and professional involvements.
FUEL SYSTEM VULNERABILITY
Jamie was introduced to the vulnerability of fuel systems when assigned to a JASP project to determine ballistic limits, hole sizes, and leak rates for self-sealing bladder materials by testing. For that work, he became proficient with the FATEPEN and ProjPen models, and his understanding of the predictive influences of the models’ inputs was instrumental in ensuring that the appropriate parameters were measured in those tests.
Jamie is also an acknowledged expert on the Fire Prediction Model (FPM). He has performed sensitivity studies on the effects of varying FPM inputs (e.g., striking velocity, air gap distance, function type, and interior (target) geometry) on the model’s estimates of fuel ignition and fire sustainment, and he has run FPM for target-specific vulnerability analyses, including ground systems. For example, he generated air gap tables used to assess fires on missile-launcher and jammer systems for the Joint Technical Coordinating Group for Munitions Effectiveness (JTCG/ME) and the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMW V) for an Army studies program. He is also responsible for
pre-shot predictions with FPM, most recently for the JASP-sponsored fuel subsystem ullage vulnerability test on the tri-Service C-12 airplane.
In addition, Jamie led the JASP-sponsored FPM Ignite verification and validation (V&V) program, partnering with Air Force, Navy, and industry (SURVICE Engineering Company) representatives to identify and fix discrepancies between the source code and documentation, fix implementation errors, and validate the model via simulation. He also serves as the Army representative for the FPM Configuration Control Board and is currently involved in planning efforts for the Next-Generation Fire Model.
Jamie also developed inputs to the JASP and JTCG Joint Data Repository. This database allows for a unified collection of impact flash and hydrodynamic ram parameters, as well as types of incendiary functions by projectiles, to help standardize test and measurement practices. Reports and data contained in this repository are available for model development and validation.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)
In the area of PPE, Jamie has conducted tests and performed analyses on multiple programs for the Warfighter, including a comprehen- sive statistical assessment of selected hard body-armor plate designs for the Project Manager for Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment (PM-SPIE) and the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E). Rigorous ballistic testing was conducted to charac- terize ballistic performance and to show with high confidence the probability of no perforation along with the upper tolerance limit of the back-face deformation. Performing logistic regression using general linear models/maximum likelihood estimation, Jamie developed the response curves of the probability of perforation as a function of striking velocity and computed the parameter estimates of the response curves and the associated standard deviations to obtain confidence intervals on the ballistic limits. This assessment helped lead DOT&E to establish standard body-armor test procedures and criteria.
Jamie was also instrumental on several PPE programs, including characterizing the ballistic performance of the Improved Outer Tactical Vest (IOTV) collar and research studies to (1) evaluate different free-air mounting methods for testing soft body armor and (2) determine whether the phenomenon called shatter gap occurred when testing certain bullets against hard body-armor plates.
Jamie implemented this response curve methodology for material characterization of the target-threat interactions to improve the modeling capability of ProjPen. He developed the test plans, led range personnel on ballistic testing, and conducted analyses to get the required data to update the tri-Service penetration equations. Along the way, he also developed a mathematical method for obtaining unbiased measurement of residual velocity during ballistic testing when only a single high-speed camera is available.
CARGO ON/OFF LOADING SYSTEM (COOLS) ARMOR
Jamie led the statistical analysis for the Army’s CH-47F Chinook LFT&E program to determine the ability of the aircraft’s ballistic protection system (BPS)—integrated with the COOLS flooring—to shield against small-arms threats. BPS and COOLS are product improvements new to the CH-47F. From the ballistic testing, Jamie computed ballistic limit parameter estimates of the response curves that provide the probabilities of armor penetration as a function of striking speed and obliquity. These functions are the underpinning of the CH-47F force-protection analysis (i.e., the level of ballistic protection afforded to the aircrew and passengers by the helicopter) and produced major improvements in vulnerability assessment resolution and accuracy.
Outside of work, Jamie is pursuing a master’s degree in applied mathematics at Towson University. In addition, since 2011, he has served in several capacities for the Chesapeake Chapter of the American Statistical Association, including membership chair, newslet- ter editor, vice president, and, currently, president. He is also an accomplished guitar player for the local band The Rivals. He also enjoys spending time in the mountains of western Maryland with his wife, Tara.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ms. Linda Moss is the Statistics Team Leader in the System Engineering and Experimentation Branch of ARL/SLAD. She has more than 30 years in ballistic testing, methodology, and analyses of ground and air systems for both survivability and lethality programs. Currently, she serves on the JASP Vulnerability Assessment and Reduction committee. Ms. Moss holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in statistics from Virginia Tech and the University of Delaware, respectively.