ASTRID 283 - Expendable systems

Background and requirement

ASTRID 283 was commissioned by Dstl as a supporting study to Bright Corvus (which aims to develop and demonstrate new technology in distributed Radio Frequency (RF) sensing, integrated RF effects, and the provision of Position, Navigation and Timing).

The purpose of ASTRID 283 was to provide a framework for Dstl to evaluate whether Bright Corvus sensors are expendable or not.


TP Group conducted Initial research in the form of a literature review to identify and categorise factors impacting on expendability. Further information was obtained through focussed interviews with SMEs, an experienced engineer specialising in Defence and ISR and another having a background in optical and electronic sensors as well as electronic warfare.

A presentation was delivered to Dstl to summarise research findings and recommend an appropriate modelling approach. TP Group identified and agreed Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis as an appropriate method to evaluate sensors and developed a Method Paper which: Confirmed the scope of the model; Defined the factors that would be incorporated; Described the MCDA methodology and articulated the outputs, assumptions, and limitations.

TP Group went on to implement the MCDA model in Excel, along with two supporting documents in the form of a User Guide and a Verification and Validation (V&V) report, which outlined the various tests conducted on the model to ensure correct functionality. As well the tool itself, TP Group produced extensive guidance on how factors should be scored on a 20-point scale (heavily based on JSP 892 containing definitions for probabilities and risk assessment). The MCDA tool was well received by Dstl, and praised for the use of radar plots to visualise MCDA data.


Through this study, TP Group has generated insights into the factors which make sensors expendable, and the MCDA tool will allow Dstl to conduct its own investigations in this area.

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