Development of Decision Support Capability in ALS 2004-01-2577
The ALS Metric is the predominant tool for predicting the cost of ALS systems. Metric goals for the ALS Program are daunting, requiring a threefold increase in the ALS Metric by 2010. Compounding the problem is the slow rate new ALS technologies reach the maturity required for consideration in the ALS Metric and the slow rate at which new configurations are developed. This limits the search space and potentially gives the impression of a stalled research and development program. Without significant increases in the state of the art of ALS technology, the ALS goals involving the Metric may remain elusive.
A paper previously presented at his meeting entitled, “Managing to the metric: An approach to optimizing life support costs.” A conclusion of that paper was that the largest contributors to the ALS Metric should be targeted by ALS researchers and management for maximum metric reductions. Certainly, these areas potentially offer large potential benefits to future ALS missions, however, the ALS Metric is not the only decision-making tool available to the community.
To facilitate decision-making within the ALS community a combination of metrics should be utilized, such as the ESM-based ALS metric, but also those available through techniques such as life cycle costing and consideration of the sensitivity of the assumed models and data. Often a lack of data is cited as the reason why these techniques are not considered for utilization. An existing database development effort within the ALS community, known as the On-line Project Information System (OPIS), may provide the opportunity to collect the necessary information to enable the proposed systems analyses, as well as improving the current metric itself. A review of these additional analysis techniques is provided, focusing on the data necessary to enable these. The discussion is concluded by proposing how the data may be utilized by analysts in the future.