Acquisition Cost Analysis for the Near Term Military Application of Laser versus Millimeter Wave for Satellite Crosslink Communications.
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING
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Two alternative satellite communication technologies have evolved independently of each other and now seem to be in direct competition for limited RD dollars. In an attempt to identify which technology is best, this study concentrates on one aspect of satellite communications--intersatellite crosslinks which are capable of processing one to ten megabits of data per second. The analysis effort is further limited to comparisons of procurement costs and factors which influence these costs. The RCA PRICE Model is used to estimate costs of crosslink subsystems. Extensive review of the literature, as well as design estimates from experts, is necessary to provide the PRICE Model with sufficient details to produce a credible cost figure. A modified Delphi method is used to aggregate the estimates of the experts. From the cost comparison of laser versus millimeter wave crosslink systems, it seems that millimeter wave with its more mature technology has the cost advantage. However, as laser technology reaches a level of maturity close to that of millimeter wave, the difference in procurement costs should become minimal. There are eleven technical, operational, and cost factors which must be analyzed to adequately determine which technology is best. Procurement cost analysis by itself does not determine which technology should be continued or stopped. Author
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Non-Radio Communications