According to an Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) survey, of all the challenges confronting the US Space Industrial Base, the time it takes to process an export control license is one of the most significant. (Dept of USAF 2007) Thus, this dissertation focuses on export licensing timelines and its effect (good, bad or indifferent) on the space industrial base. Primarily, do current timelines prevent the industry from competing effectively in the international market? The survey states excessively long processing times for license applications prohibits the industry from responding to international requests for proposals. Unable to win contracts in the international market, sales efforts are then turned to the domestic market where the federal government is by far the largest consumer. Unfortunately, the federal government often buys huge one-of-kind systems and in an inconsistent manner. The result is marginal revenue streams and a shrinking industry as many firms leave the market for more lucrative ones. (Chao 2008) Yet other studies, using market share as a measure of competitiveness, reveal US market share has remained relatively stable and in some nations it has grown. They point out, that the current state of the US Space Industrial Base could be the result of fluctuations in the global space market that are impacting all space faring nations and not just the US. Further, what effect will streamlining the export licensing process have on the competitiveness of the industry in overseas markets? Several reforms are currently under consideration including a single export control list, single information technology (IT) system, and a single enforcement agency. This dissertation seeks to understand the relationship between export control licensing timelines and the competitiveness of the US space industry using system dynamics modeling to simulate the current license export process as well as model the potential "pay-off" of the proposed reforms.
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