Re: [sc] incidents with laser guided bombs GBU-12 in Denmark

Re: [sc] incidents with laser guided bombs GBU-12 in Denmark

From: Peter B. Ladkin ^lt;ladkin@xxxxxx>
Date: Sun 05 Jun 2005 - 08:24:56 BST
Message-ID: <42A2A8C8.8080904@xxxxxx>
Thomas Maier asked:
     Can anyone confirm a "PFD" of about 2/100 for the GBU-12 system, or
     similar systems?

Well, the bombs were released and hit the ground, but not the target,
so it is not clear what concepts would be used to describe this
situation. If the cause was put down to a technical glitch in the control
system, then PFD. But if the cause was put down to a falsely-aimed laser,
it is not clear that it would be counted as a "Failure" for PFD purposes.
And I doubt that "playing with deadly toys in the proximity of civilians"
has a high chance of appearing on the list of causes of most problems with
these things.

The U.S. ICBM program worked with the concept of Circular Error Probable,
(CEP). AS Donald Mackenzie explains in his prize-winning study of the
subject (Invemting Accuracy, MIT Press 1990), the concepts used to evaluate
success or failure, accuracy and so forth were very much tied to the
technology used to deliver the missiles and warheads, namely inertial
guidance systems.

Just to be clear: I am not saying this is the right way to do things.
I rather incline towards saying it is not.


Peter B. Ladkin, Professor of Computer Networks and Distributed Systems,
Faculty of Technology, University of Bielefeld, 33594 Bielefeld, Germany
Tel+Msg +49 (0)521 880 7319
Received on Sun Jun 05 08:27:04 2005