Developing and applying synthesis models of emerging space systems
Ordonez, Michael M.
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The Department of Defense’s (DOD) large satellites provide robust capabilities, but they are ill designed to combat emerging threats and concerns like anti-satellite weapons and a shrinking defense budget. Small satellites are a potential solution to this challenge, but the technology is too nascent for the DOD to deploy. This thesis addressed the DOD’s need for further research on small satellites by providing a set of decision support tools that enables the exploration of small satellite physical trade-offs early in the conceptual design phase of the DOD space acquisition process. Early phases of the systems engineering process were used to identify DOD small satellite requirements and key input factors and output responses that drove meta-model development through the use of model-based systems engineering. Microsoft Excel and JMP software were employed to build synthesis models used in the decision support tools developed. The decision support tools analyzed the relationship between small satellite design inputs and outputs to provide trade space insights that can assist DOD space acquisition professionals in making better decisions in the conceptual design phase. More informed decision-making in the space acquisition process might preserve valuable DOD resources that may have otherwise been wasted.
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