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ON SYSTEM ENGINEERING A BARTER-BASED RE-ALLOCATION OF SPACE SYSTEM KEY DEVELOPMENT RESOURCES Open Access

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ABSTRACT NASA has had a decades-long problem with cost growth during the development of space science missions. Numerous agency-sponsored studies have produced average mission level development cost growths ranging from 23 to 77%. A new study of 26 historical NASA science instrument set developments using expert judgment to re-allocate key development resources has an average cost growth of 73.77%. Twice in history, during the Cassini and EOS-Terra science instrument developments, a barter-based mechanism has been used to re-allocate key development resources. The mean instrument set development cost growth was -1.55%. Performing a bivariate inference on the means of these two distributions, there is statistical evidence to support the claim that using a barter-based mechanism to re-allocate key instrument development resources will result in a lower expected cost growth than using the expert judgment approach. Agent-based discrete event simulation is the natural way to model a trade environment. A NetLogo agent-based barter-based simulation of science instrument development was created. The agent-based model was validated against the Cassini historical example, as the starting and ending instrument development conditions are available. The resulting validated agent-based barter-based science instrument resource re-allocation simulation was used to perform 300 instrument development simulations, using barter to re-allocate development resources. The mean cost growth was -3.365%. A bivariate inference on the means was performed to determine that additional significant statistical evidence exists to support a claim that using barter-based resource re-allocation will result in lower expected cost growth, with respect to the historical expert judgment approach. Barter-based key development resource re-allocation should work on science spacecraft development as well as it has worked on science instrument development. A new study of 28 historical NASA science spacecraft developments has an average cost growth of 46.04%. As barter-based key development resource re-allocation has never been tried in a spacecraft development, no historical results exist, and an inference on the means test is not possible. A simulation of using barter-based resource re-allocation should be developed. The NetLogo instrument development simulation should be modified to account for spacecraft development market participant differences. The resulting agent-based barter-based spacecraft resource re-allocation simulation would then be used to determine if significant statistical evidence exists to prove a claim that using barter-based resource re-allocation will result in lower expected cost growth.

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