The Design-To-Cost Manifold
- Dean, Edwin B.
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- 1 electronic document
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- Design-to-cost is a popular technique for controlling costs. Although qualitative techniques exist for implementing design to cost, quantitative methods are sparse. In the launch vehicle and spacecraft engineering process, the question whether to minimize mass is usually an issue. The lack of quantification in this issue leads to arguments on both sides. This paper presents a mathematical technique which both quantifies the design-to-cost process and the mass/complexity issue. Parametric cost analysis generates and applies mathematical formulas called cost estimating relationships. In their most common forms, they are continuous and differentiable. This property permits the application of the mathematics of differentiable manifolds. Although the terminology sounds formidable, the application of the techniques requires only a knowledge of linear algebra and ordinary differential equations, common subjects in undergraduate scientific and engineering curricula. When the cost c is expressed as a differentiable function of n system metrics, setting the cost c to be a constant generates an n-1 dimensional subspace of the space of system metrics such that any set of metric values in that space satisfies the constant design-to-cost criterion. This space is a differentiable manifold upon which all mathematical properties of a differentiable manifold may be applied. One important property is that an easily implemented system of ordinary differential equations exists which permits optimization of any function of the system metrics, mass for example, over the design-to-cost manifold. A dual set of equations defines the directions of maximum and minimum cost change. A simplified approximation of the PRICE H(TM) production-production cost is used to generate this set of differential equations over [mass, complexity] space. The equations are solved in closed form to obtain the one dimensional design-to-cost trade and design-for-cost spaces. Preliminary results indicate that cost is relatively insensitive to changes in mass and that the reduction of complexity, both in the manufacturing process and of the spacecraft, is dominant in reducing cost.
- Other Subject(s):
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20040121065.
International Academy of Astronautics Symposium on Space Systems Cost Methodologies and Applications; 10-11 May 1990; San Diego, CA; United States.
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