Forecasting (21st Century) Production Costs of Advanced Space Systems 861762
Life cycle cost estimates are made for an architecture (family) consisting of advanced space systems. An evaluation of the acquisition phases indicates that a very large percentage of these costs occur in manufacturing. A review of the costing methodology utilized in unit production costs indicates that the data base does not reflect the type of advanced manufacturing processes that would exist when the space systems become operational (in the 21st century). A review is made of the attributes of the factory of the future, and the impact it could have on current cost models used in planning program budgets. Several examples are presented to show the unit production cost saving obtainable when advanced manufacturing processes are applied to high technology areas such as mechanical and electrical space systems, and microelectronic applications (i.e., data processor). The overall implication is that cost reductions up to an order of magnitude are possible in the near time frame if these advanced manufacturing processes are initiated in a revolutionary, rather than an evolutionary manner.