1525. Preliminary Design Analysis of Missile Weight, Cost and Schedule Interactions and Risk Assignments


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M Skrtic, R S St. John: 1525. Preliminary Design Analysis of Missile Weight, Cost and Schedule Interactions and Risk Assignments. 1983.



In the preliminary design of a hardware item, it is often necessary to evaluate alternative design approaches,
materials and capabilities that permit future product improvements while maintaining basic performance
characteristics. Due to the complex nature of modern equipment and the extreme environments specified, these
choices impact end-item cost, delivery schedule and,in some cases, performance, in a positive or negative
manner. Frequently, these choices are made considering only one or two criteria, i.e., a material change for
a particular component to reduce overall weight or to increase component lifetime. Only later is it discovered
that this change requires procurement of scarce material, new tooling and cutting equipment and, perhaps,
development of new manufacturing process specifications. In the final analysis, the end item will weigh less
and have a greater service lifetime, but its delivery schedule may be incompatible with customer requirements
and its cost growth may preclude quantity purchases. As the complexity of the item grows, the more decisions
and interactions there are and the more rapidly the process of evaluating product-improvement options outstrips
an individual’s capability to assess the final impact on cost, schedule, performance and program risk.
In developing a missile system that incorporates many interacting subsystems, timely evaluation of all options
and selection of the path that provides the least cost and schedule impact while meeting requirements is, at
best, difficult. As the use of computers has become widespread, many sophisticated techniques have been
developed to evaluate alternatives; however, the amount of input data required to use these tools has also grown.
As a result, few (if any) available tools lend themselves to use in preliminary design or proposal efforts where
the demand is for ‘instant results.’
This paper discusses a methodology for evaluating alternative strategies to incorporate requirement change or
product-improvement alternatives during the proposal or preliminary design stage of missile development. The
entire analysis was performed on an Apple II Plus* computer. In addition to several specialized personal routines,
the following commercially available software was used:
o Hierographic Transport – Product of GSR Associates
o Apple Plot – Product of Apple Compute rInc.
o VisiCalc – Product of VisiCorp Personal Software
o VisiPlot – Product of VisiCorp Personal Software
o AMPERGRAPH – Product of MADWEST Software
o TASC compiler – Product of Microsoft Corporation
o Apple Writer – Product of Apple Computer Inc.


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