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SynGenics Optimization System

Author: Carol Ventresca

Citation: July 2013. 37:7, Tech Briefs: Engineering Solutions for Design & Manufacturing, p.47.


Systems Engineering Best Practices in Science and Technology: Low Altitude Small Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS) Military Utility Study

Authors: Robert McCarty; Ventresca, Carol; Parker, Gregory

Abstract: From both the military and civilian sides of the Air Force, the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has enjoyed clear direction and policy regarding the application of SE early in the acquisition life cycle. The vision for Air Force Life Cycle Systems Engineering (LCSE) has been embraced by the Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition Integration (SAF/AQX) with a focus on the Pre-Decisional acquisition phase. SAF/AQX advocates SE for application to a capability pre-Milestone A and pre-Milestone B, referred to as “requirements engineering.” SE in pre-acquisition is viewed as an enabler for “Analysis of Problem” activity as a precursor to the more formal Analysis of Alternatives (AoA). SE processes are perceived to support translation of capability statements into families of concept designs/approaches. Pre acquisition SE affords trade study processes, provides key ground rules/constraints, determines decision criteria, and offers a methodology for populating the knowledge base. Pre-acquisition SE essentially develops AoA entry criteria and provides more fully integrated concept definitions which address costs, risks, “ilities,” and verification approaches up front. It builds the technical knowledge base for each concept and affords a methodology to migrate that knowledge forward to a program. Pre acquisition SE establishes “requirements engineering” as a mechanism to drive linkage of concepts to operational architectures (Air Force, Coalition, and Joint), and to facilitate better decision-making at AoAs and MS/KDPs. Pre-acquisition SE is viewed by the Air Force as an investment to reduce risk in later program phases, and as an activity that must start in the earliest stages of concept development before normal program initiation. Early SE provides operators a tool for informed choices (capability vs. cost vs. time), and it gives the S&T community a collaborative/vetted guide to investment priority decision-making. For both operators and the laboratories, early application of SE fulfills their responsibility for managing expectations of S&T, and it focuses resources on essential technology products. AFRL has established a Systems Engineering Council (SEC) to institutionalize adoption of systems engineering in S&T. Goals of the AFRL SEC are to tailor SE best practices for use in the S&T environment, and to establish an organic AFRL capability for S&T SE. In support of AFRL S&T SE, SynGenics Corporation has developed and refined the Systems Engineering Tailored for Science & Technology (SETFST) process. SETFST is a structured approach to generating optimal solutions to complex problems. SETFST can be applied to emerging technologies, a process that contributes to sound systems engineering over the life cycle of the resulting products. SETFST defines and clarifies requirements and supports good decision-making, even in the absence of complete information at each stage of development. SETFST identifies “desirements” and alternatives that might satisfy customer requirements. It evaluates, compares, and ranks them within a consistent framework for subject matter experts (SMEs) and managers to capture, discuss, negotiate, and evolve alternatives toward consensus; and it affords the highest probability of system success. The SETFST process reveals sensitivities and quantifies risk. As more information becomes available, the information from the process is easily updated. This presentation will outline the SETFST process, and discuss its application to the Low Altitude Small Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS) Military Utility Study. This AFRL project is one which is implementing S&T SE very early in the acquisition life cycle process, and for which S&T SE is contributing to a successful outcome. An Integrated Product Team (IPT) was formed to develop more in depth understanding of capability needs, and then to establish characteristics of those needs through workshops conducted with study customers and subject matter experts. Characteristics of capability needs were classified as types of desirements; then measures and desirability functions were defined for the desirements, enabling functional decomposition of the capability needs. Next, potential options that could contribute to the most influential functions were brainstormed, and those options were aggregated into a number of alternative solution concepts. Value analysis of the resulting alternatives formed the basis for AFRL S&T investment strategy to define the way ahead for development, maturation and transition of advanced technologies to fulfill customer capability needs. The presentation will advance conference objectives by providing information and lessons learned which will contribute to improved performance of Defense programs through more effective application of systems engineering. The result will be more capable, interoperable, and supportable weapon systems with reduced total ownership costs. Integration of new technologies into operations will improve the ability of the Air Force to meet the changing and more complex security environment with the agility, flexibility and readiness required.

Description: October 2012. Presented at the 15th NDIA Systems Engineering Conference, San Diego, California.


AFRL S&T Systems Engineering Process: Introduction for Program Managers, Scientists, and Engineers

Author: Ventresca, Carol

Abstract: This two-hour lecture provides participants with an introduction to the customized process chosen as AFRL’s Systems Engineering (SE) process of choice for Science and Technology (S&T) programs. Topics include the need for such a process, decision analysis approaches, application of SE to S&T and how it differs from SE practice later in acquisition, and the benefits of applying the essential elements of SE early in the acquisition cycle. The concept of Desirements, a key construct within the AFRL S&T SE Process, is carefully explained. The measures of merit, Desirability and Risk, are defined. The process steps are described and illustrated by example. The lecture covers application of the process to specific AFRL S&T programs and the results achieved. It concludes with a case study on the process applied to the Airdrop Flagship Capability Concept and with observations made by participants and Air Force leadership at the end of the study.

Citation: September 2012. Lecture given to AFRL Engineers, Scientists, Program Managers at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.


Efficient Design and Optimization of Integrated Aerodynamic Propulsion Systems

Authors: Michelle L. McMillan, Ventresca, Carol; Anderson, Bernhard H.

Citation: 26 April 2012. Presentation to the 5th annual Shock Wave/Boundary Layer Interaction (SWBLI) Workshop at the Ohio Aerospace Institute (OAI), Cleveland, Ohio.


The Application of Systems Engineering to Science and Technology Project Planning

Authors: Bryan DeHoff; Archer, Thomas; Ventresca, Carol; Rapson, Robert

Abstract: Within the Department of Defense (DOD) there has been an active effort to reinvigorate Systems Engineering disciplines and to attain their inherent benefits across the entire weapon systems acquisition process. While the typical application of Systems Engineering has been in the System Program Offices emphasizing design and production, the current initiative extends the Systems Engineering expectations earlier in the science and technology (S&T) realm of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). In response, AFRL has adopted a systems engineering process for planning and executing activities in the Exploratory Development and Advanced Development budget activities.

The Materials and Manufacturing Directorate within the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL/RX) has identified three phases in the S&T project life cycle—planning, execution, and closeout. Believing that if a project is planned well, it is more likely to execute well, the Systems Engineering team within AFRL/RX developed a streamlined systems engineering process for S&T planning. This paper describes the application of this process to various materials, processing, and manufacturing problems.

Citation: 21-24 May 2012. Technical paper presented at the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE) 2012 Conference, Baltimore, Maryland.


Systems Engineering (SE) in Early Development Planning for the Automated Aerial Refueling (AAR) Project

Authors: Robert McCarty; Ventresca, Carol; Hinchman, Jacob; Schreiter, Daniel; Nguyen, Ba; Irvin, Karen

Abstract: The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Automated Aerial Refueling Phase II (AAR II) Program is developing AAR System and Segment level requirements to enable a future Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) to safely refuel via boom and receptacle using the Air Force KC-135 tanker fleet with minimal tanker modifications. The AAR Segments are the Tanker, the Receiver and the Mission Control Station (MCS) operated by an Air Vehicle Officer (AVO). Since a future transition platform for AAR has not yet been defined, the AAR System and Segment performance requirements are accompanied by rationale and sensitivity analyses for consideration by the future application. The goal of the Preferred System Concept is to develop a design of the AAR System that meets the System and Segment Performance Specifications. The Preferred System Concept will be a physical architecture matured to a level approximately commensurate with a Preliminary Design Review, and could serve as a starting point for a near-term transition customer. The PSC design will specify AAR System hardware and software configuration items. A Failure Modes and Effects Criticality Analysis (FMECA) will be executed to quantify the key contributors to an AAR System failure. AFRL has adopted a systems engineering (SE) approach which has been tailored for Science and Technology (S&T) to lay the groundwork for early development planning activities that could feed acquisition of future transition platforms. The AFRL S&T SE process being used for AAR II enables development planning by decomposing user needs/gaps into S&T requirements for materiel solutions, assisting with analytical based decisions, performing analysis of alternatives, conducting studies, developing strategies, and by accomplishing technology and manufacturing risk assessments. This presentation will illustrate how development of both System and Segment level requirements were used to drive definition of functional and Segment level physical architectures for AAR II. Preferred System Concept activities will be outlined to show how these System and Segment level requirements and architectures were used then to develop Receiver hardware and software configuration item architectures and requirements for capture in Preferred System Concept and System/Subsystem Design Documents. Benefits of applying the AFRL S&T SE process to support early development planning through the AAR II Preferred System Concept and System/Subsystem Design Document will be noted.

Citation: 24 October 2011. Presented at the Dayton Engineering Sciences Symposium, Dayton, Ohio. Also 27 October 2011. Presented at the 14th NDIA Systems Engineering Conference, San Diego, California.

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Risk in S&T: A Fresh Look: A Systems Engineering Approach

Authors: Tom Archer; Ventresca, Carol; Rapson, Bob; Enghauser, Bob; Kesling, Bill; DeHoff, Bryan; Hasen, Gerry

Abstract: In S&T, the word risk carries connotations of uncertainty, fear, and the likelihood of wasted time and effort. The conservative S&T manager may conclude that no “risky” project is worth doing. This paper argues for accomplishing more effective S&T through more accurate recognition and thorough addressing of risk at both the technical and strategic levels.

Risk is easily trivialized when it is described as a schedule slippage or cost overrun. These are simply causes for far more dramatic disasters in S&T. There is an implicit assumption that greater risk leads to greater rewards. While it is an appealing premise that may apply in lotteries and casinos for recreation, it has no place in S&T. Instead, it is a problematic assumption that helps to rationalize casual risk management practices.

The briefing challenges the often-stated axiom that S&T is inherently the business of risk. Professional S&T management is the business of eliminating risk, both within S&T and for the S&T mission.

The true risks, or more accurately, failure modes, in S&T are often unrecognized or ignored. In fact, risk is generally well managed when explicitly recognized. In some cases, the S&T objective is to characterize risk. Risk has three components: a definition, a probability of occurrence, and an undesirable consequence. In S&T, the definitions are often misstated, the probabilities are rarely known, and the consequences are regularly trivialized. So what is usually described as risk is more accurately uncertainty. Using the elements of risk, recognizing that they need to be applied with mathematical precision in an environment of uncertainty, leads to developing more effective S&T.

This briefing captures the current state of risk recognition and management in a typical S&T environment: it proposes an approach that is more focused on the end user and that attains the rigor and precision necessary to manage elements of risk to enhance the outcomes of S&T efforts.

Citation: 26 October 2011. Presented at the 14th NDIA Systems Engineering Conference, San Diego, California.

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Effectiveness of Systems Engineering (SE) Tailored for the Science & Technology (S&T) Environment: Improvement of USAF Airdrop Accuracy

Authors: Carol Ventresca; Bowman, Keith, PhD.; McCarty, Robert; Globus, Stephanie

Abstract: The US Air Force (AF) aerial delivery operations in support of world-wide US Army ground forces have seen a dramatic increase in sortie generation and airdrop delivered tonnage. This significant increase mandated the need to improve airdrop accuracy for critical resupply and humanitarian aid missions. To address this urgent AF need, the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) was requested to investigate potential technology solutions to aid in the development of systems to achieve Air Mobility Command needs. Multiple interfaces with many complexities involving crew operations, aircraft release and material handling systems, bundle configuration, recovery system and the impact of retrograde to troops on the ground necessitated a rigorous application of the systems engineering process. AFRL applied their S&T Systems Engineering (S&T SE) process to evaluate airdrop operations from packaging of the airdrop bundle to post recovery bundle retrograde, and then launched multiple technology research projects in early 2011. This presentation will show the effectiveness of SE in the S&T environment by outlining the entrance criteria for an AFRL project, highlighting the importance of the Integrated Product Team (IPT) formed for the planning project, and summarizing application of the S&T SE process steps used to formulate the initial project development plan. Effects of embracing S&T SE will be described including “before and after” snapshots to indicate the extent to which user understanding of requirements was strengthened and expanded as a result of the process. An examination into the steps in the S&T SE process will be presented, and examples of resulting products will be provided. S&T SE process deliverables will include documented criteria, solution concepts, mathematically based evaluation of alternatives, sensitivity analysis, relationships, understanding, worksheets, scorecards, and consensus. A functional breakdown of airdrop operations developed by the IPT using the S&T SE process illustrated key aspects of the airdrop problem that would otherwise have been overlooked. Categories of candidate technology options that were generated and refined by the IPT will be presented, as will examples of options within those categories. Techniques employed to numerically score solution options against the user desirements defined by the IPT will be depicted. Categories of the desirements established by the IPT included performance, human factors, cost and security. Methods applied to combine various options into potential alternative enabling solutions for a capability will be shown, as will procedures to evaluate those alternatives. Classes of alternatives considered included payload/exit improvements, communication/display improvements, weather data acquisition improvements, additional studies, and human factors mitigation. Scoring of alternatives against the desirements was accomplished over three different timeframes for technology maturity: 0 to 3 years, 3-5 years, and more than 5 years. The scoring which was accomplished supported decision making to select best value alternatives by characterizing the design space, and by assessing both customer desirability and associated risk for each alternative. Those technology options occurring most frequently in the top alternatives were ranked by customer desirability and presented to the IPT. Ranking of the technology options in this way focused initiation of the IPT planning phase on payload exit, communication and weather in order to define the way ahead for technology development roadmapping. Findings resulting from the application of S&T SE to planning for technology development will be summarized in the presentation. Documented results will include desirements, key performance parameters and exit criteria, options and alternatives, design space characterization with solution space bounds and desirability and risk, technology roadmaps, and a technology maturation plan. Recommendations for future work will be provided, as will a summary of the critical roles played by S&T SE in Pre-Milestone A and Early Phase acquisition. It will be shown that SE can prove to be a viable process for decision analyses at all levels of S&T, including Materiel Solution Analysis (Milestone A) and Technology Development prior to Milestone B.

Citation: 27 October 2011. Presented at the 14th NDIA Systems Engineering Conference, San Diego, California.


The Conversation: SE Tailored to Science and Technology

Authors: Bob Rapson, Enghauser, Bob; Ventresca, Carol; Archer, Tom; DeHoff, Bryan; Kesling, Bill; Hasen, Gerry; Stroud, Bob

Abstract: The NDIA Systems Engineering Division has a long and strong history of facilitating the dialog between industry and DoD regarding the application of Systems Engineering (SE) in the acquisition process. During the past few years, the emphasis on the essential elements of Systems Engineering has spread across the acquisition spectrum, reaching into the early phase of science and technology (S&T) developments. It is in this early phase that the technology options are developed and matured to the point that they can be considered in the Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS) process.

As the S&T development organization for the Air Force, the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has been actively involved in identifying how the SE elements can be integrated into this early portion of the acquisition spectrum. Within AFRL, the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate (AFRL/RX) represents a cross-section of this early acquisition spectrum, executing projects ranging from the most fundamental basic research to Advanced Technology Demonstration programs that have formal delivery agreements with subsequent acquisition organizations. This Directorate is applying the essential elements of Systems Engineering through a tailored approach built around what is called The Conversation.

The Conversation uses the common thread of Systems Thinking, which the scientists can relate to, and encourages them to see the benefits this offers to them in the planning, execution and delivery phases of development. Depending on the nature of the technology effort—Basic, Exploratory, or Applied Research—the depth of the conversation needs to be tailored to fit the project. The experience from this approach as applied to the spectrum of technology projects is that the lead scientist or engineer responds more appreciatively than to more toolbox-oriented approaches. When the scientists are referred to an advertised Systems Engineering Toolbox or a single-tool approach, they often respond negatively to the difficulty in relating the language of the tool to the reality of their S&T projects.

To assist the scientist and engineer in applying this tailored approach, AFRL/RX is developing detailed Guide and Workbook documents which lead the project team through a Streamlined Systems Engineering Planning Process. Similar in design to the IRS 1040 package of forms and schedules and associated detailed instructions, the Workbook comprises the forms and the Guide is the detailed instructions for each form. The Workbook package, when completed by the project team, has all the elements of the intended Project Approval process, ranging from small Director Incentive proposals to formal Technical Review Board submittals.

Citation: 25–28 October 2010. Presented at the 13th NDIA Systems Engineering Conference, San Diego, California.


Recapturing System Decomposition Techniques for Improved S&T Development of Future Warfighter Capabilities

Authors: James Malas; Ventresca, Carol; Archer, Thomas; Rapson, Robert

Abstract: This paper explores the rediscovery of system decomposition techniques such as Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) as useful systems engineering tools for planning, executing, and transitioning Science and Technology (S&T) programs. Many well established techniques are routinely used in costing and scheduling work, as well as to identify critical technology elements in technology-readiness assessments. However, they are rarely used to generate candidate technology alternatives in early S&T planning, which generally lacks the imposed structure dictated by the existence of formal requirements. Decomposing an S&T development into its functional, physical, or work components makes the problem more manageable. The program manager is inclined to make simplifying assumptions to scope the program into something more familiar and limited but, in the end, not transitionable. The danger is that the system aspects that are assumed away and solutions that would result from their consideration are lost until further development, when they emerge and stand in the way of satisfying a Capability Concept. It is important to recognize how the S&T may fit into end uses or systems. Otherwise, as is too often the case, technology that is desperately needed faces serious delays—sometimes even years—while the interfaces are developed and implemented. This paper demonstrates how existing techniques can be tailored to applied research and advanced technology development efforts that are ultimately aimed at Capability Concepts. Novel application of these techniques satisfies the need to decompose the problem into tractable elements while maintaining awareness of the complexities and interrelationships within the system. This paper illustrates the value of these techniques by means of a case study that highlights the generation of candidate technology alternatives to fully explore the feasible solution space before zeroing in on the recommended solution and its integration challenges.

Citation: 25–28 October 2010. Presented at the 13th NDIA Systems Engineering Conference, San Diego, California.

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Systems Engineering Analysis Decision Support (SEADS) Methods and Tools for Improved S&T Development of Future Warfighter Capabilities

Authors: Carol Ventresca

Abstract: Systems engineering methods and tools provide the structure for improving effectiveness and efficiency of program management and for improving success of technology transitions and transfers. This paper presents tool-development work aimed at automating the process called Systems Engineering Tailored for Science and Technology (SETFST), which is used effectively throughout the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). Under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with AFRL/RX (Materials and Manufacturing Directorate), SynGenics is developing an integrated set of Excel-based applications, the SEADS Toolkit, which assists program teams in applying this process. Under the terms of this five-year agreement, SynGenics provides the SEADS Toolkit, including periodic upgrades, at no monetary cost to AFRL. In return for free use of the software, AFRL users will provide feedback and suggested improvements to the SEADS Toolkit.

SETFST utilizes a variety of mathematical techniques to determine valuable characteristics of a new product or technology and the priority of those wants and needs (desirements) among its eventual users. Employing the SETFST Process often shortens the time and reduces the cost of the research program. The SEADS Toolkit leads to a value model to support investment decision-making to maximize the likelihood of satisfying those desirements and achieving Capability Concepts for the warfighter. Using a case study, this paper illustrates how the SEADS Toolkit provides the following capabilities:

  • Automation and linking of decision-support functions;
  • Execution of burdensome mathematics and data reduction to quantify parameters as teams work toward a best-value decision;
  • Facilitation of real-time documentation of ideas, assumptions, rationale and conclusions derived during team meetings; and
  • Probabilistic benefit and risk assessments for alternate solutions under consideration.

The Toolkit makes the SETFST process more accessible to program teams, thereby encouraging broader application of the process, which leads to the realization of better research results in shortened timeframes and ultimately to timely technology delivery for the warfighter.

Citation: October 2010, submitted to the 13th NDIA Systems Engineering Conference, San Diego, California.


The Next Great Technology Surprise! Surprise?

Authors: Thomas Archer

Abstract: What is the next great technology breakthrough? How do we anticipate the next technological threat or, on the more positive side, opportunity? How can we stay ahead of the stampede so we avoid the consequences of being trampled or destroyed by new technology in the hands of our competitors or enemies?

How does a bottle of Dom Pérignon champagne offer a Science and Technology (S&T) lesson?

It is tempting to think that “game-changing” or “disruptive” technology bursts upon the scene without warning. History yields the unexpected message that the influence and application of technology tends to be agonizingly slow and evolutionary. Technology is a catalyst, an enabler, not a direct cause of change. It is the way true leaders, those who take us “where no one has gone before,” think about and visualize technology that drives change and opportunity.

What is sometimes a surprise is the magnitude and rate of success of an application. Apple’s iPod®, clever and innovative, is not a technical surprise; the pervasiveness of its acceptance, especially at its initial price point, may be.

This paper explores ways to think about technology that may help identify and exploit the next great technology. It focuses on three ways to help understand what and how innovations succeed.

  • Recognizing potentially high impact technology
  • The time span from discovery to practical application
  • Attitudes that block innovation or inhibit development.

The technology that will influence our lives, our security, and our businesses over the next 20–40 years already exists, if only in discovery or prototype form. Examples are described every day in popular and arcane professional magazines, on the Internet, and in the news; and explained and demonstrated on cable’s technology-oriented television programs. It is easy to overlook the implications of those discoveries by focusing only on the dazzling technology.

The magnificent benefits to be derived from such technological wonders as anthropomorphic robots, e-media, multi-functional “sixth sense” personal electronics (implants?), renewable energy, electric vehicles, non-lethal weapons, cures for cancers, holographic conferencing, and hypersonic transportation are intriguing. It is also useful to remember that this is a world where well over half the population has never traveled farther than 20 miles from home nor gone faster than 20 miles per hour and lacks a reliable or safe source of potable water. 1.6 billion people have no access to electricity. In such an environment, the introduction and implementation of advanced technology may be measured in decades rather than years. The practical basics such as cheap, reliable water purification or desalinization may have the most profound impact.

Citation: July 2010. Delivered to AFRL/RX, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.


Achieving a Systems Engineering Culture in a Science and Technology Laboratory Environment

Authors: Robert Rapson; Malas, James; Enghauser, Robert; Hasen, Gerald; Kesling, William; Ventresca, Carol; Archer, Thomas; DeHoff, Bryan; McCarty, Robert

Abstract: This paper reports on an on-going activity within a Research and Development organization’s Systems Engineering office which is working on tailored application of Systems Engineering to Science and Technology (S&T) programs. The broad range of S&T development programs will significantly benefit from the application of systems engineering principles during program assessments, planning, and execution. Systems engineering methods and tools provide the structured management for improving effectiveness and efficiency of program management and improving success of technology transitions and transfers. An Integrated Product and Process Development (IPPD) analysis of the suitability of various systems engineering methods for different types of materials and manufacturing S&T programs is presented. Different types of Pre-Milestone A research and development programs are identified based on program objectives such as S&T knowledge generation, product development, and urgent need response. The systems engineering requirements and desirements for key types of S&T programs are proposed and alternative systems engineering methods for satisfying them are generated. A value analysis is presented that provides the recommended systems engineering methodology for different types of S&T programs. Systems engineering applications case studies on materials and manufacturing S&T programs are examined with respect to recommended approaches.

Citation: 26–29 October 2009. Presented at the NDIA Systems Engineering Conference, San Diego, California.


The Functional Breakdown Structure (FBS) and its Relationship to Life Cycle Cost

Authors: Bryan DeHoff; Levack, Daniel J. H.; Rhodes, Russel E.

Abstract: The Functional Breakdown Structure (FBS) is a structured, modular breakdown of every function that must be addressed to perform a generic mission. It is also usable for any subset of the mission. Unlike a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), the FBS is a function-oriented tree, not a product-oriented tree. The FBS details not products, but operations or activities that should be performed. The FBS is not tied to any particular architectural implementation because it is a listing of the needed functions, not the elements, of the architecture. The FBS for Space Transportation Systems provides a universal hierarchy of required functions, which include ground and space operations as well as infrastructure – it provides total visibility of the entire mission. By approaching the systems engineering problem from the functional view, instead of the element or hardware view, the SPST has created an exhaustive list of potential requirements which the architecture designers can use to evaluate the completeness of their designs. This is a new approach that will provide full accountability of all functions required to perform the planned mission. It serves as a giant check list to be sure that no functions are omitted, especially in the early architectural design phase.

A significant characteristic of a FBS is that if architecture options are compared using this approach, then any missing or redundant elements of each option will be identified. Consequently, valid Life Cycle Costs (LCC) comparisons can be made. For example, one architecture option might not need a particular function while another option does. One option may have individual elements to perform each of three functions while another option needs only one element to perform the three functions.

Once an architecture has been selected, the FBS will serve as a guide in development of the work breakdown structure, provide visibility of those technologies that need to be further developed to perform required functions, and help identify the personnel skills required to develop and operate the architecture. It also will allow the systems engineering activities to totally integrate each discipline to the maximum extent possible and optimize at the total system level, thus avoiding optimizing at the element level (stove-piping). In addition, it furnishes a framework that will help prevent over or under specifying requirements because all functions are identified and all elements are aligned to functions.

Citation: 2-5 August 2009. Paper #AIAA 2009-5344, delivered at the 45th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference, Denver, Colorado.


Technology Maturation Planning for the Autonomous Approach and Landing Capability (AALC) Program

Authors: Carol Ventresca; McCarty, Robert; Eizenga, Ken; Rufa, Justin; Zimmer, Doug; French, Guy, Ph.D.; Koger, John; Walker, Doyle

Abstract: The AAR Project is intended to enable unmanned air vehicles to refuel from manned tankers, with the KC-135R as the target tanker. The AAR Concept of Operations (CONOPS) will mirror procedures used by piloted aircraft to the greatest extent possible. The emphasis will be on refueling of bomber-type aircraft with unique aspects being addressed to include multi receiver / multi tanker cell operations and changes to arrival / departure procedures. The technical challenge is to develop a prototype integrated multi channel Precision Global Positioning System (PGPS) based Relative Navigation (RelNAV) system that can demonstrate the desired capabilities in an operational environment (Technical Readiness Level 7). The three principal functional components of a complete AAR system are RelNAV, Vehicle Management (VM), and Command and Control (C2). An AAR capability will dramatically increase the persistence and endurance of any Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). AAR will greatly increase the operational utility of any UAS that incorporates the system, shortening the response time, decreasing the deployed footprint, and extending the range of the Unmanned Aircraft (UA). UAS concepts such as global strike are a primary consideration for AAR. The Defense Acquisition Life Cycle phase being addressed in the AAR Project is Pre Milestone B, Technology Development. The current update to DoDI 5000.02 reflects that the key element of the Technology Development Phase is Technology Maturation. The desired end state of the AAR Project is to develop the AAR capability to a level of maturity that would enable the USAF to enter Post Milestone B Engineering and Manufacturing Development and Demonstration with acceptable risk for a future aircraft acquisition program. This presentation will illustrate the critical elements of technology maturation necessary to successfully achieve the goal of the AAR project. Technical maturity and risk reduction criteria will be identified for flight qualification, airworthiness certification, environmental qualification, logistics support and technology development allocated to future programs. The presentation will outline the Requirements Management Plan that will be used to validate and mature AAR requirements for design, interface and methods of verification.

Citation: 9–12 September 2008. Presented at the AFRL 2008 Technology Maturity Conference, Virginia Beach, Virginia.


Establishing Evaluation Criteria for an Opportune Landing Site (OLS) System

Authors: Carol Ventresca; McDowell,James; Walker, Doyle; Almassy, Richard; Ryerson, Charles, Ph.D.

Abstract: If one does not know where one wants to go, it is difficult to choose the best path or to recognize the destination when one reaches it. Developing a clearly defined set of evaluation criteria helps program management set the course, measure progress, and improve the likelihood for success. On the OLS System Validation and Demonstration Program, performed 2004–2007, the product was software capable of locating smooth, flat, firm, obstruction-free OLSs. The government and industry team applied a process that provides a structured approach and consistent framework for defining success, achieving consensus in decision making, and maximizing probability of success. The process begins with capturing quantified evaluation criteria that define what the product must do, as well as the nice-to-have aspects. The term desirements is used to describe the set of evaluation criteria, defined in appropriate units of measure and mapped to the desirability scale. The mandatory aspects comprise the subset called exit criteria. The evaluation criteria form the multi-dimensional solution space that characterizes the optimal system. Applying the process early in the OLS System Validation and Demonstration Program clarified objectives, supported program decisions, and diminished the effort expended on unimportant features. The result was a set of clearly defined desirements for three critical points in OLS System evolution that removed ambiguity and supported the integrated program plan for the realization of a tool to give the war-fighter access anywhere in the battlespace by 2030, despite the absence of prepared landing strips.

Citation: April 2008. Presented at the USACE Transportation Systems Workshop, Phoenix, Arizona.


The Use of Multicriterial Optimization Analysis and Sensitivity as a Measure of Risk in Aerospace System Development, October 2003, Atlanta.

Authors: Carol Ventresca; Richards, George A.; Gridley, Marvin C.; Addington, Gregory A., Ph.D.

Abstract: Multicriterial desirability optimization analysis was used for airframe structural design. The authors investigated the multidimensional solution space in the region of each design point to assess the robustness of candidate designs. Sensitivity analysis permitted selection and optimization of a robust design. Understanding the sensitivity of resulting customer value to multiple competing criteria enabled project leadership to make informed decisions concerning resource investment and to proceed with development while keeping affordability and customer value in focus.

Citation: 19–21 October 2003. Presented at the INFORMS Annual Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia.


The Use of Multicriterial Optimization Analysis and Sensitivity as a measure of Risk in Aerospace System Development, June 2003, Dayton

Authors: Carol Ventresca; Richards, George A.; Gridley, Marvin C.; Addington, Gregory A., Ph.D.

Abstract: Multicriterial desirability optimization analysis was used for airframe structural design. The authors investigated the multidimensional solution space in the region of each design point to assess the robustness of candidate designs. Sensitivity analysis permitted selection and optimization of a robust design. Understanding the sensitivity of resulting customer value to multiple competing criteria enabled project leadership to make informed decisions concerning resource investment and to proceed with development while keeping affordability and customer value in focus.

Citation: 4–6 June 2003. Presented at the 10th Spring Research Conference on Statistics in Industry and Technology, Dayton, Ohio.

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An Analysis Process for Affordability and the Relationship to Cost

Authors: Carol Ventresca and Quaglieri, Robert

Abstract: This paper explores the generic concept of affordability analysis, and then discusses the attributes of one method in particular, the Integrated Product and Process Development (IPPD) process. Affordable means obtainable with the means available. Affordability is that characteristic of a system that it does what the customer wants it to do—that is, meets or exceeds the customer’s needs—for a price that the customer is willing to pay. An overview of the IPPD process is presented, with emphasis on the desirability optimization methodology for multivariable, multicriterial optimization. An example problem involving material specification and selection of the forming process is used to illustrate the technique. It is seen that different “Best-Value” solutions can be achieved at various levels of investment or product cost. The IPPD process will continue to yield advantages to those who use it. This systems engineering approach to Affordability is a discipline to which the Department of Defense (DoD) is committed. The Affordability process provides metrics that support making good decisions, understanding ramifications of each option, and drawing upon the collective knowledge of the project team in a structured way. There is now a methodology and associated tools that guide one through the process of creating higher value at a lower cost.

Citation: 2002 Conference, AIAA 2002-1767, AIAA, Washington, DC. 23 April 2002. Presented at the 43rd AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Conference Special Session on Affordability 33-SDM-22 Denver, Colorado.


Improvement of Process Yield, ISA/92 Advances in Instrumentation and Control

Authors: Carol Ventresca; Derringer, George C.; and Stephens, Alan

Abstract: In today’s competitive environment, there is constant pressure to improve quality and reduce production costs. Off-shore competition, scarcity of investment capital, the regulatory environment, and other forces continuously drive us to improve process yield and product quality. A modest investment in appropriate statistically designed experiments can solve process problems and produce near-term payback. Experimental design techniques elicit the most information for the least cost, and they are broadly applicable to industrial problems. This paper provides a case study illustrating how these techniques were applied to reduce the occurrence of a particular defect in a polymer casting process. The result was a significant improvement in process yield and a first-year savings of many times the cost of the experiment.

Citation: 1992. 47:2, Instrument Society of America, pp. 1277–1286.


Continuous Process Improvement through Designed Experiments and Multiattribute Desirability Optimization

Author: Carol Ventresca

Abstract: Process optimization is a problem with many dimensions. Attributes of interest compete with one another and are affected by a host of variables. It is impossible to achieve the best possible values for all process outputs simultaneously. For this reason, it is important to define what should be achieved from the process. Once the objectives are known, statistically designed experiments can be used effectively to determine the optimal levels of controllable process variables that will produce the desired result and make the process robust to variations in the influential parameters that cannot be controlled. This paper describes an approach to establishing values for process variables to consistently achieve the optimal set of process outputs. It is an iterative process that produces continuous improvement. Principles of statistical experimental design and multi-attribute desirability optimization methodology are employed. The benefits of this approach include better products, less variability, lower costs, and more efficient process definition.

Citation: ISA/91. Advances in Instrumentation and Control, 46:2, Instrument Society of America, pp. 1685–1700.


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