A document discusses a method for using Design Structure Matrices (DSM), coupled with high-level tools representing important life-cycle parameters, to comprehensively conceptualize a flight/ground space transportation system design by dealing with such variables as performance, up-front costs, downstream operations costs, and reliability. This approach also weighs operational approaches based on their effect on upstream design variables so that it is possible to readily, yet defensibly, establish linkages between operations and these upstream variables.

To avoid the large range of problems that have defeated previous methods of dealing with the complex problems of transportation design, and to cut down the inefficient use of resources, the method described in the document identifies those areas that are of sufficient promise and that provide a higher grade of analysis for those issues, as well as the linkages at issue between operations and other factors. Ultimately, the system is designed to save resources and time, and allows for the evolution of operable space transportation system technology, and design and conceptual system approach targets.

This work was done by Edgar Zapata of Kennedy Space Center and A.C. Charania and John Olds of Spaceworks Engineering.

Refer to KSC-12797