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Technical Paper

Clarifying Objectives and Results of Equivalent System Mass Analyses for Advanced Life Support

This paper discusses some of the analytical decisions that an investigator must make during the course of a life support system trade study. Equivalent System Mass (ESM) is often applied to evaluate trade study options in the Advanced Life Support (ALS) Program. ESM can be used to identify which of several options that meet all requirements are most likely to have lowest cost. It can also be used to identify which of the many interacting parts of a life support system have the greatest impact and sensitivity to assumptions. This paper summarizes recommendations made in the newly developed ALS ESM Guidelines Document and expands on some of the issues relating to trade studies that involve ESM.