This paper explores various mindsets or paradigms that govern how we consider environmental factors in materiel system design and testing. It particularly cautions against hidden paradigms that may restrict initiatives to increase the efficiency of the materiel acquisition cycle. It also explains paradigm shifts from producing and testing prototypes to substituting simulation for hardware where possible to save time and reduce costs. The key factor in shifting successfully from hardware to simulation is the sage advice and guidance of environmental experts whose basic knowledge of environmental effects is essential in efforts to structure information and experience into databases, models, and simulations. It is shown how the Institute of Environmental Sciences (IES) plays a key role in bringing experts together to address the Department of Defense (DoD) synthetic environment science and technology thrust.

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