Refine Your Search

Search Results

Viewing 1 to 2 of 2
Technical Paper

The Effect of Mission Location on Mission Costs and Equivalent System Mass

Equivalent System Mass (ESM) is used by the Advanced Life Support (ALS) community to quantify mission costs of technologies for space applications (Drysdale et al, 1999, Levri et al, 2000). Mass is used as a cost measure because the mass of an object determines propulsion (acceleration) cost (i.e. amount of fuel needed), and costs relating to propulsion dominate mission cost. Mission location drives mission cost because acceleration is typically required to initiate and complete a change in location. Total mission costs may be reduced by minimizing the mass of materials that must be propelled to each distinct location. In order to minimize fuel requirements for missions beyond low-Earth orbit (LEO), the hardware and astronauts may not all go to the same location. For example, on a Lunar or Mars mission, some of the hardware or astronauts may stay in orbit while the rest of the hardware and astronauts descend to the planetary surface.
Technical Paper

Development of Decision Support Capability in ALS

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.