A report focuses on the development of flight software (FSW) cost estimates for 16 Discovery-class missions at JPL. The techniques and procedures developed enabled streamlining of the FSW analysis process, and provided instantaneous confirmation that the data and processes used for these estimates were consistent across all missions. The research provides direction as to how to build a prototype rulebased system for FSW cost estimation that would provide (1) FSW cost estimates, (2) explanation of how the estimates were arrived at, (3) mapping of costs, (4) mathematical trend charts with explanations of why the trends are what they are, (5) tables with ancillary FSW data of interest to analysts, (6) a facility for expert modification/ enhancement of the rules, and (7) a basis for conceptually convenient expansion into more complex, useful, and general rule-based systems.

This work was done by John N. Spagnuolo, Jr. and Sherry A. Stukes of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Dan Broderick at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. NPO-48487

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On a Formal Tool for Reasoning About Flight Software Cost Analysis

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This article first appeared in the April, 2013 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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