Development of a management support framework for space based systems of systems programs

Alessandro Golkar, Giancarlo Filippazzo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Capital intensive, long lifecycle systems of systems pose important challenges to decision-makers, program managers, and stakeholders involved in their development and fruition. Decisions taken in systems of systems development span several decades, involve multiple organizations and are concerned with the design of multiple elements meeting different requirements but working in a federate approach to meet overarching goals. Notwithstanding these complexities, decision-makers need to act quickly to meet stakeholder needs effectively. This paper presents an ongoing development effort of a standard planning model for decision-making support for a challenging class of systems of systems, that of space based Earth Observation missions. The goals of the planning framework are to support program managers allowing quick cost and schedule management of currently fielded systems, provide estimates of proposed and planned missions, and inform concurrent design of such systems. Challenges to consider in the process are the design of common infrastructure, staged system development, and complex interactions between development programs under uncertainty. Our approach integrates in a cohesive framework a combination of detailed bottom-up and coarse top-down estimating and phasing models for both flight and ground segments, covering the whole mission lifecycle from conceptual design to operations. The framework is developed using deterministic inputs and processes, and is extended to probabilistic scenarios by means of a Monte Carlo simulator. Methods from statistical analysis are integrated to validate model input data, and verify model outputs. Multi-domain uncertainties are considered, both endogenous and exogenous, such as technical, financial, and epistemic model uncertainties. As a result, the framework offers a systematic approach for determination of management reserves for systems of systems planning. The paper presents the methodology underlying the integrated approach, and identifies the challenges that the planning framework needs to meet in future work. The application of the framework to programmatic scenario analysis is demonstrated, showing the ability to quickly assess systems programmatic scenario, which would typically take longer times using traditional "point-scenario" approaches. Planned work being discussed includes a design to cost methodology to be integrated in the existing framework, the development of Key Performance Indicators and Figures of Merit to inform systems architecting exercises, and the generalization of the framework to a Comprehensive Systems of Systems Management Approach covering a broader category of applications.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAIAA SPACE 2013 Conference and Exposition
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventAIAA SPACE 2013 Conference and Exposition - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: 10 Sep 201312 Sep 2013

Publication series

NameAIAA SPACE 2013 Conference and Exposition


ConferenceAIAA SPACE 2013 Conference and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


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