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Optical Engineering • Open Access

Update to single-variable parametric cost models for space telescopes
Author(s): H. Philip Stahl; Todd M. Henrichs; Alexander Luedtke; Miranda West

Paper Abstract

Parametric cost models are an important tool routinely used to plan missions, compare concepts, and justify technology investments. In 2010, the article, “Single-variable parametric cost models for space telescopes,” was published [H. P. Stahl et al., Opt. Eng. 49(7), 073006 (2010)]. That paper presented new single-variable cost models for space telescope optical telescope assembly. These models were created by applying standard statistical methods to data collected from 30 different space telescope missions. The results were compared with previously published models. A postpublication independent review of that paper’s database identified several inconsistencies. To correct these inconsistencies, a two-year effort was undertaken to reconcile our database with source documents. This paper updates and revises the findings of our 2010 paper. As a result of the review, some telescopes’ data were removed, some were revised, and data for a few new telescopes were added to the database. As a consequence, there have been changes to the 2010 published results. But our two most important findings remain unchanged: aperture diameter is the primary cost driver for large space telescopes, and it costs more per kilogram to build a low-areal-density low-stiffness telescope than a more massive high-stiffness telescope. One significant difference is that we now report telescope cost to vary linearly from 5% to 30% of total mission cost, instead of the previously reported average of 20%. To fully understand the content of this update, the authors recommend that one also read the 2010 paper.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 June 2013
PDF: 10 pages
Opt. Eng. 52(9) 091805 doi: 10.1117/1.OE.52.9.091805
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 52, Issue 9
Show Author Affiliations
H. Philip Stahl, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Todd M. Henrichs, Middle Tennessee State Univ. (United States)
Alexander Luedtke, Brown Univ. (United States)
Miranda West, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)


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