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Software for Estimating Costs of Testing Rocket Engines

A high-level parametric mathematical model for estimating the costs of testing rocket engines and components at Stennis Space Center has been implemented as a Microsoft Excel program that generates multiple spreadsheets. The model and the program are both denoted, simply, the Cost Estimating Model (CEM). The inputs to the CEM are the parameters that describe particular tests, including test types (component or engine test), numbers and duration of tests, thrust levels, and other parameters. The CEM estimates anticipated total project costs for a specific test. Estimates are broken down into testing categories based on a work-breakdown structure and a cost-element structure. A notable historical assumption incorporated into the CEM is that total labor times depend mainly on thrust levels. As a result of a recent modification of the CEM to increase the accuracy of predicted labor times, the dependence of labor time on thrust level is now embodied in third- and fourth-order polynomials.

This program was developed by Merlon M. Hines of Lockheed Martin Space Operations for Stennis Space Center.

Inquiries concerning rights for the commercial use of this invention should be addressed to the Intellectual Property Manager, Stennis Space Center; (228) 688-1929. Refer to SSC-00154.