With future missions of increasing complexity, duration, distance, and uncertainty, there has been a growing need for methods and tools that can permit the effective formation of early stage conceptual designs that are not only cost-effective, but also productive and resilient to failures. Current approaches are mostly tailored to evaluating independent systems but do not necessarily scale well to problems requiring a system-of-systems approach. Furthermore, current approaches are not well suited to evaluating metrics such as system resiliency. Due to extended mission duration and distance, a new paradigm is entering the space mission design area which involves systems that change over time (either by changing the system capabilities, repairing the system, or resupplying the system). This adds complexity to the mission, and uncertainty regarding the system performance.
This proposal addresses these issues with the following innovations:
The significance of the innovations is that the proposed methods and tools will:
NASA applications that can benefit from the increased resilience provided by the methods and tools developed include next-generation habitat systems, such as those being developed under NASA’s NextSTEP-2 BAA, and the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway (including the Power Propulsion Element). Also, assets required for NASA’s recently announced return to the Moon, which are complex systems within a system-of-systems, can benefit from the tools, for both robotic and human exploration of the surface.
The advent of the in-space satellite assembly and manufacturing technology, coupled with the emerging ability to service satellites, means that commercial satellite architectures are undergoing a transformation. The commercial satellite industry requires tools like those developed here to optimize the level of modularity and resilience in the design of next-generation commercial satellite systems to minimize overall lifecycle cost for the commercial satellite owner.