A Bayesian Approach to Non-Deterministic Hypersonic Vehicle Design
Affordable, reliable endo- and exoatmospheric transportation, for both the military and commercial sectors, grows in importance as the world grows smaller and space exploration and exploitation increasingly impact our daily lives. However, the impact of disciplinary, operational, and technological uncertainties inhibit the design of the requisite hypersonic vehicles, an inherently multidisciplinary and non-deterministic process. Without investigation, these components of design uncertainty undermine the designers’ decision-making confidence. In this paper, the authors propose a new probabilistic design method, using Bayesian Statistics techniques, which allows assessment of the impact of disciplinary uncertainty on the confidence in the design solution. The proposed development of a two-stage reusable launch vehicle configuration highlights the means to first quantify the fidelity of the disciplinary analysis tools utilized, then propagate such to the vehicle system level.