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Proceedings Paper

Multivariable parametric cost model for space and ground telescopes
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Paper Abstract

Parametric cost models can be used by designers and project managers to perform relative cost comparisons between major architectural cost drivers and allow high-level design trades; enable cost-benefit analysis for technology development investment; and, provide a basis for estimating total project cost between related concepts. This paper hypothesizes a single model, based on published models and engineering intuition, for both ground and space telescopes:

OTA Cost ~ (X) D (1.75 ± 0.05) λ (-0.5 ± 0.25) T-0.25 e (-0.04) Y

Specific findings include: space telescopes cost 50X to 100X more ground telescopes; diameter is the most important CER; cost is reduced by approximately 50% every 20 years (presumably because of technology advance and process improvements); and, for space telescopes, cost associated with wavelength performance is balanced by cost associated with operating temperature. Finally, duplication only reduces cost for the manufacture of identical systems (i.e. multiple aperture sparse arrays or interferometers). And, while duplication does reduce the cost of manufacturing the mirrors of segmented primary mirror, this cost savings does not appear to manifest itself in the final primary mirror assembly (presumably because the structure for a segmented mirror is more complicated than for a monolithic mirror).

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 September 2016
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 9911, Modeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy VI, 99110L (6 September 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2234088
Show Author Affiliations
H. Philip Stahl, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Todd Henrichs, Missile Defense Agency (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9911:
Modeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy VI
George Z. Angeli; Philippe Dierickx, Editor(s)

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