Nuclear Capabilities Services (NuCS)



The NuCS and SAM program supports DTRA’s development and integration of nuclear effects software capabilities. The program refactors, enhances, assesses and develops modeling capabilities that undergo full verification and validation and fill critical gaps in modeling capabilities. Nuclear phenomenologies of interest include electromagnetic pulse (EMP), blast, fire ignition, groundshock, cratering, radiation transport, electromagnetic propagation and response of structures, personal and other military assets. Enhanced capabilities are deployed in a net-centric environment and include full documentation of the methodology, assumptions, limitation and applicability. The program develops state-of-the-art applications for missile defense study, vulnerability analysis and environment and response predictions.


NuCS core is the definitive distributed calculation framework for nuclear effects and system response models. NuCS integrates legacy, refactored and newly developed nuclear models into a single unified framework within DTRA’s Integrated Weapons of Mass Destruction Toolset (IWMDT) Enterprise Architecture (EA).

NuCS core consists of a standardized set of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), a common data model (CDM), and a library of 84 nuclear effects models. Each model is verified after integration and the NuCS program provides supporting documentation for the models, including methodology reports, interface documents and Verification and Validation (V&V) report summaries.

The SAM program developed three applications for system vulnerability assessments, two are implemented in IWMDT. The High Altitude Burst (HAB) Effects on Satellite Communications (HOS) application was developed for DTRA Reachback. A major accomplishment of HOS is the automatic creation of a PowerPoint summary that provides standardized roll-ups of results and backup material.

The US Strategic Command (STRATCOM) Mission Assurance (SMA) application supports quick response Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) risk assessments in USSTRATCOM’s Global Operations Center (GOC) to aid the command’s decision making process during wartime. SMA incorporates missile launch and nuclear detonation (NUDET) situational awareness data in providing the most likely prediction of high-altitude EMP (HEMP) environments. SMA inputs EMP hardness information on critical assets and assesses the risk to those assets from the predicted HEMP environments.

The third application developed by SAM supports the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). The application consists of modernized, standalone versions of the NuCS LFCOM (Predicts the performance of VLF and LF communication links that propagate in normal and disturbed environments) and Weapon Effects Communications (WEFCOM) model simulations. LFCOM and WEFCOM simulate nuclear and jamming effects on strategic radio frequency (RF) systems used by the US National Command Authority (NCA) to command nuclear forces.


NuCS SAM subject matter experts provide critical research and development to investigate and model the physics of nuclear weapon effects. NuCS SAM develops and maintains the only DTRA approved framework of nuclear effects models. Developers of nuclear effects tools, algorithms and applications use NuCS as a starting foundation to compute approved nuclear environment and response results. NuCS and SAM maintain and deliver a current set of classified weapons data that are the core inputs to NuCS and SAM models. SAM builds high-altitude nuclear effects applications and tools that support critical time-sensitive vulnerability analysis of US satellite systems, military assets and communication systems.

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OSD Analytic Services Group (OASG) supports the warfighter. Photo Credits: US Department of Defense, US Department of the Navy

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