Enabling Design for Affordability: An Epoch-Era Analysis Approach
MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH CAMBRIDGE
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Acquiring defense systems in the face of urgent needs, budget challenges, and scarce resources drives the need for designing affordable systems by anticipating uncertain futures and related mission volatility. Despite recent strategies to mandate designing for affordability as a requirement in acquisition management, current processes for performing early lifecycle affordability tradeoffs remain underdeveloped. Methods for exploring design tradespaces have matured but have lacked specific focus on evaluating affordability. Affordability tradeoffs have also largely been limited to static tradeoffs of systems in current operating environments, or in single point futures. Given that systems exist in a dynamic and uncertain world, designing for affordability necessitates a method capable of evaluating systems across many possible alternative futures. A new method that leverages both Multi-Attribute Tradespace Exploration and Epoch-Era Analysis is proposed to augment current practices in designing for affordability. This method can be applied to the evaluation of system concepts across multiple epochs periods of fixed context and needs and multiple eras ordered sequences of epochs and uses the Multi-Attribute Expense metric to provide a measure for aggregate costs and schedule considerations. This paper presents interim research outcomes of an ongoing research project, demonstrating the viability of the approach with a case study.
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies