System Architecture Modeling for Technology Portfolio Management Using ATLAS

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Thompson, Robert W.
O’Neil, Daniel A.
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Strategic planners and technology portfolio managers have traditionally relied on consensus-based tools, such as Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) and Quality Function Deployment (QFD) in planning the funding of technology development. While useful to a certain extent, these tools are limited in their ability to fully quantify the impact of a technology choice on system mass, system reliability, project schedule, and lifecycle cost. The Advanced Technology Lifecycle Analysis System (ATLAS) aims to provide strategic planners a decision support tool for analyzing technology selections within a Space Exploration Architecture (SEA). Using ATLAS, strategic planners can select physics-based system models from a library, configure the systems with technologies and performance parameters, and plan the deployment of a SEA. Key parameters for current and future technologies have been collected from subject-matter experts and other documented sources in the Technology Tool Box (TTB). ATLAS can be used to compare the technical feasibility and economic viability of a set of technology choices for one SEA, and compare it against another set of technology choices or another SEA. System architecture modeling in ATLAS is a multi-step process. First, the modeler defines the system level requirements. Second, the modeler identifies technologies of interest whose impact on an SEA. Third, the system modeling team creates models of architecture elements (e.g. launch vehicles, in-space transfer vehicles, crew vehicles) if they are not already in the model library. Finally, the architecture modeler develops a script for the ATLAS tool to run, and the results for comparison are generated.
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