Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

On System Engineering a Barter-Based Re-allocation of Space System Key Development Resources
by Kosmann, William J., Ph.D., The George Washington University, 2013, 183; 3558747
Abstract (Summary)

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.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Mazzuchi, Thomas A., Sarkani, Shahram
Commitee: Eftekari, Reza, Murphree, E. Lile, Wasek, James
School: The George Washington University
Department: Systems Engineering
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-B 74/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Aerospace engineering, Systems science
Keywords: Barter-based reallocation, Cost growth, Instrument development, Resource reallocation, Science instruments, Spacecraft
Publication Number: 3558747
ISBN: 9781303032851