Designed experiments for the defense community

Rachel T. Johnson, Gregory T. Hutto, James R. Simpson, Douglas Montgomery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The areas of application for design of experiments principles have evolved, mimicking the growth of U.S. industries over the last century, from agriculture to manufacturing to chemical and process industries to the services and government sectors. In addition, statistically based quality programs adopted by businesses morphed from total quality management to Six Sigma and, most recently, statistical engineering (see Hoerl and Snee 2010). The good news about these transformations is that each evolution contains more technical substance, embedding the methodologies as core competencies, and is less of a program. Design of experiments is fundamental to statistical engineering and is receiving increased attention within large government agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Department of Defense. Because test policy is intended to shape test programs, numerous test agencies have experimented with policy wording since about 2001. The Director of Operational Test & Evaluation has recently (2010) published guidelines to mold test programs into a sequence of well-designed and statistically defensible experiments. Specifically, the guidelines require, for the first time, that test programs report statistical power as one proof of sound test design. This article presents the underlying tenents of design of experiments, as applied in the Department of Defense, focusing on factorial, fractional factorial, and response surface design and analyses. The concepts of statistical modeling and sequential experimentation are also emphasized. Military applications are presented for testing and evaluation of weapon system acquisition, including force-on-force tactics, weapons employment and maritime search, identification, and intercept.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-79
Number of pages20
JournalQuality Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012


  • factorial design
  • optimal design
  • power
  • response surface methodology
  • space filling design
  • test and evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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