3385. Reproducible Research in Mass Properties Engineering: A Modest Proposal


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David Tellet: 3385. Reproducible Research in Mass Properties Engineering: A Modest Proposal. 2006.



These days of diminishing resources – especially in the mass properties industries – demand that we find and use the most efficient and effective paths to do our jobs. We also have a responsibility to provide a corporate memory legacy to future weight engineers. The current trend toward bulletized presentations and undocumented spreadsheets will not provide future engineers with the data, methodology, or rationale needed to prevent future wasteful re-work and uncertainty. This paper proposes one path to move back toward meaningful, useful, and effective technical reports while increasing the efficiency of producing those reports. This path borrows from the Academic model for papers and theses in the use of proven open-source programs like LATEX and R. A practical example of the use of these programs is shown in Part II of this paper as a short study on an Exploratory Data Analysis of the FF 1040 Weight and Stability. This study shows how an ascii file can contain the data, methods, discussion, and results (both text and graphics) of a subject and how this file can be used far into the future to either recreate the original study or revise or expand on it as needed. The study shows that a better legacy than anemic PowerPoint slides can be provided for future weights engineers and that the tools used to do so can improve efficiency and effectiveness of current weights engineers.


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