Upcoming Issue Themes for The ITEA Journal

Upcoming Issue Themes for The ITEA Journal - Submissions to Steve "Flash" Gordon, ITEA forum | International Test and Evaluation Association

 The ITEA Journal of Test and Evaluation Upcoming Themes

Authors can submit articles for standard review and editing or for the lengthier ITEA peer review process. Please consider writing an article, share this document with coworkers, and provide feedback. Articles of general interest to ITEA members and The ITEA Journal of Test and Evaluation readers are always welcome, and authoring these articles is a great way to contribute to our industry. Authors do not need to be ITEA members.


The ITEA Journal offers a forum for sharing knowledge and ideas crucial to our changing T&E workforce. Please submit your contributions today to journal@itea.org, attention:  Laura Freeman, PhD, Publications Committee Chair (laura.freeman@vt.edu)

Articles for The ITEA Journal include specialty features, each 2-3 pages long, and key technical articles:

  • Book Reports for T&E or related topics such as systems engineering, scientific principles, and acquisition.
  • Featured Capability describes unique, innovative capabilities; demonstrates how they support T&E.
  • Historical Perspectives recall how T&E was performed in the past or a significant test or achievement, often based on personal participation in the “old days” of T&E.
  • Tech Notes discusses innovative technology that has potential payoff in T&E applications or could have an impact on how T&E is conducted in the future.
  • T&E Handbook modules are included in issues to highlight the topics and get feedback on proposed modules in the handbook. Authors are encouraged to submit their ideas or comment on the printed modules.
  • Cultivating the T&E Workforce addresses the future of T&E by looking for ways to encourage students to pursue and remain in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics courses and majors, and for innovations in professional education for the T&E workforce.
  • T&E Range Challenges addresses range encroachment related to external activities. Papers will be accepted for this topic during any issue in order to judge interest.
  • Scientific Methods in T&E solicits articles on innovations in statistical/mathematical methods for T&E.
  • Peer-Reviewed Articles. Authors may submit articles designated to be peer-reviewed. The process usually takes 30 extra days. These peer-reviewed articles will be highlighted in The ITEA Journal.

Innovations in Modeling and Simulation (M&S) Use for T&E (Issue 41-3, September 2020). M&S allows depiction of places and times where the users of the M&S cannot otherwise go. These battlespaces and times could be in the past, future, or into areas where enemy defenses or other physical barriers prevent immediate travel. In light of this powerful benefit of M&S, there are at least two situations where M&S gives the most benefit in T&E. The first is the reduction of testing cost. Rather than running flight tests or destroying weapons systems, we simulate the activity in the laboratory to determine if the system satisfies the developmental documentation and performance and if the system meets operational effectiveness and suitability. We can then verify performance with much fewer flight tests — saving money by running fewer high-cost live tests. The second is the ability to use M&S to generate operational edge conditions that we cannot create in the live operational environment. We can simulate operational conditions that would be expensive or impossible to create in a physical operational test. Examples could be testing aircraft in lethal environments or after the departure from safe flight or load testing an air traffic control system with more tracks than would be possible in the live operational environment to prove performance resilience requirements.
(Manuscript Deadline: June 2020)

T&E for Cyber Security and Readiness (Issue 41-4, December 2020). Key information passed through network connections improves the speed and lethality of combat operations; yet, use of networks opens doors to vulnerabilities. Network connections for home computers, smart phones, social media, and entertainment add enjoyment; yet, ease of use often equates to increased ease of misuse and scamming. Systems that support the military, our finances, our health records, and our other personal information must pass risk management, information assurance/security, net readiness, and cyber readiness tests. Yet, these tests, when passed, do not provide 100% assurance of protection. Systems and the networks that connect them are subject to attacks from many sources; however, the goal of the attack is nearly always to take something valuable. Money, personal information, trust, freedom, military information and plans, or intellectual property are often taken with very minimal effort and cost. How much testing is required to provide an acceptable level of risk and enduring protection to expected attacks?
(Manuscript deadline: September 2020)

New Initiatives in Developmental and Integrated T&E (Issue 42-1, March 2021).  These initiatives include, but are not limited to, mission engineering and improved interoperability testing across mission support levels, implementing the Developmental Evaluation Framework (DEF), designation of Chief Developmental Testers, improving reliability T&E, and improving cybersecurity testing.  Systems need to be tested in relevant mission areas and relevant levels of warfare so that the systems perform as intended in the Service, Joint, and Coalition warfare missions in which the system may be employed. Part of that requirement includes the interoperability to effectively and safely operate in those types of operations, levels of warfare, and battlespaces. What are the benefits and lessons learned of implementing the DEF to improve DT&E planning and streamline some T&E documentation? In designating Chief Developmental Testers, how has that initiative improved DT and OT results? Has the emphasis on designing for reliability planning and reliability growth and improved estimation of reliability resulted in realized improved reliability and risk reduction? How have tabletop exercises and consistent cybersecurity T&E assistance helped improve cybersecurity DT&E.
(Manuscript deadline: December 2020)

Training the Future T&E Workforce (Issue 42-2, June 2021). Test and evaluation over the next decade will need a workforce of professionals from many academic disciplines. The academic majors will certainly include science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); yet, management, communications, psychology, and other types of majors also may be needed for the T&E profession. We will need a steady supply of the right academic majors from our technical schools, colleges, and universities, and we will need initial training for the incoming workforce to be ready to become T&E professionals. The need for an inflow of new talent suffers from a constrained supply and competes with many demands for the same disciplines from industry, academia, and other parts of the government. Increasing the throughput of the right new talent would help considerably. And, innovative ways to attract the new workforce, provide recurring training to the existing workforce, and fund career enhancement will help T&E retain the workforce needed.
(Manuscript deadline March 1, 2021)

Testing Artificial Intelligence and Collaborative Autonomous Systems (Issue 42-3, September 2021). For these systems, we must test and train as we fight. Unmanned and autonomous vehicles fly reconnaissance, target location, and combat sorties. They work for us. They fly in combat and public airspaces. They travel on the ground, in the air and space, on the water, and under water on a variety of missions. Unmanned and autonomous vehicles may be fully controlled by humans, semi-automated, or fully autonomous individually or in swarms or dissimilar teams. How can we test the collaborative software that allows these systems to complete many missions, including operating in autonomous swarms. How have we conducted T&E of these systems in the past? Are there best practices or lessons learned? Are there any guidelines for how to test the semi-automated and autonomous behaviors in representative operational environments? How can we test these systems and their “brains” in degraded environments in order to determine operational robustness to combat conditions and to cyber degradations?
 (Manuscript deadline: June 1, 2021)

Success Stories in T&E (Issue 42-4, December 2021). Are there improved testing regimens under which systems have been evaluated, resulting in lives saved, costs reduced, and/or battles won?  For this issue, we will mostly focus on the high-profile T&E experiences where the testing helped influence product changes that made the product better in terms of cost, safety, or effectiveness. Feedback from tests at or before the design phase can be implemented with minimal cost to the program and can help improve the cost, suitability, and effectiveness of the system. Product or system modifications as a result of feedback from tests after the development phase of acquisition may cost more, but the test results later in a program are often essential to building the right product. This issue is also seeking examples of tests where, for some reason, systems were fielded even though they were lacking in effectiveness, suitability, or resiliency. So, we would also welcome “Less than Successful Stories in T&E” in this issue as well. Examples of how things have gone wrong help us understand the importance of making sure things go right.
(Manuscript deadline: September 1, 2021)

Accelerating T&E to the Speed of Need (Issue 43-1, March 2022). The speed of need is the speed required to transition the system tested from definition of user needs to the initial necessary operational capability. The demands of war have shortened the timeline on requirements for military systems. Rapid acquisition and rapid fielding initiatives arising from urgent operational needs have created an entire industry in the defense community. The pace at which transportation security and border protection measures need to be deployed is similarly increased. We see information technology (IT), especially software and cyber threats and defenses, change with a frequency of months, not years. Test and evaluation (T&E) must be responsive to the acquisition timelines. The Federal Aviation Administration, Border Patrol, law enforcement, and many other organizations are adapting to the changing speed of need. This issue takes a candid look at agile software development processes, cyberspace T&E, defense IT acquisition reform, rapid acquisition and fielding, reconfigurable test capability, testing on demand, reuse, and other ideas for streamlining the T&E process in support of accelerating deployment of new products, services, and capabilities.
(Manuscript Deadline: December 1, 2021)