Advanced Technology and Systems Analysis

CNA Advanced Technology and Systems Analysis: helping decision makers get the best possible returns from their technology and systems investments.

CNA Advanced Technology and Systems Analysis (ATSA) focuses on analyses of technologies and systems that support the evolving requirements of naval and joint war­fare to inform and support acquisition and enterprise force management decisions. ATSA analyzes joint systems and capabilities and structures analysis within a joint context, but it specializes in the analyses of naval and expeditionary systems, tactics, and operations. The major focus is to address the potential military utility of new technologies, the relative need for new systems or capabilities, and the costs and implications of acquiring a new system or family of systems. ATSA analysts help our research sponsors examine alternative systems to assess their relative costs and benefits.

Analysts specialize in assessing alternative technical and systems approaches to address emerging gaps in the capabilities of U.S. forces, and they analyze those alternatives to assess their cost, performance, and risks. To do this, ATSA analysts develop a thorough understanding of sponsors’ objectives and operating environments—including sea, land, air, space, and cyberspace—and of the performance characteristics of supporting technologies and systems. Building on their analysis and knowledge of current operations, the analysts serve as a link between sailors and marines in the fleet and marine forces and scientists and engineers in the research and development communities.

ATSA’s work for the Department of the Navy falls into four areas: 

  • Intelligence, Information, and Networks —  Analyze alternative combinations of sensors, processes, systems, and networks supporting the tasking, collection, processing, production, and dissemination of command and control information and intelligence to support the full spectrum of operations. Conduct analysis of offensive and defensive cyber systems and the policies, tactics, techniques, and procedures required to operationalize cyber warfare capabilities in the fleet. Analyze current afloat network connectivity and potential material and procedural changes to improve and assure expeditionary communications capability. 
  • Research, Development, and Acquisition — Conduct analysis to assist in the development and acquisition of technologically superior and affordable systems for the Department of Defense.
  • Resources, Planning, and Assessments — Conduct analysis of systems capabilities to support the Department of the Navy major platform warfare requirements and acquisition. 
  • Capability Integration — Analyze systems of systems for integrated naval and joint operations, employing a variety of analysis, modeling, simulation, and wargaming techniques to analyze all facets of weapons effectiveness and weapons effects against asymmetric threats to help senior decision makers assess risks and opportunities. 

ATSA's research in these areas (much of which is classified) helps senior decision makers set requirements for, and acquire systems to meet, their warfighting capabilities and missions. ATSA research sponsors include the Office of Secretary of Defense; the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (DCNO) for Information Dominance (N2/N6); the DCNO for Integration of Capabilities and Resources (N8); the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, and Acquisition; the Commander of the Fleet Cyber Command; and the Director of Naval Intelligence. Other research sponsors include the National Reconnaissance Office, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the Missile Defense Agency.

The division’s current research is grouped around five main themes: recapitalizing critical forces; modernizing and refocusing forces to meet rising anti-access and area-denial challenges and to satisfy forward presence requirements; developing and maintaining affordable maritime and air dominance; devel­oping and exploiting information and information technologies for operations; and increasing science and technology productivity in support of evolving naval capabilities.

Advanced Technology and Systems Analysis Teams

  • Aviation Systems & Technology
  • Information Technology & Operations
  • Integration & Gaming
  • Maritime Search & Undersea Warfare