Accession Number:

ADA504008

Title:

The Value Proposition for Fractionated Space Architectures

Descriptive Note:

Conference paper

Corporate Author:

DEFENSE ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECTS AGENCY ARLINGTON VA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2006-09-01

Pagination or Media Count:

23.0

Abstract:

The complexity of a spacecraft, as with any other engineering system, is driven by the twin objectives of delivering a particular capability and of doing so robustly in the face of uncertainty. Whereas the intrinsic difficulty of the underlying mission minimally bounds the complexity of the engineering system needed to effect it, in reality such a minimalist system would be of little practical utility it is not enough to deliver a given capability - it must be delivered with some degree of robustness in the face of various sources of risk or uncertainty. In the particular case of space systems, the array of such sources of uncertainty is both vast and diverse. The current approach - or lack thereof - to designing space systems for robustness to uncertainty is the key to the sharply escalating costs and development timelines facing the space industry. We propose the metamorphosis of the gargantuan monolithic spacecraft of today into distributed networks of small fractionated spacecraft. components.

Subject Categories:

  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Unmanned Spacecraft

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE