Methodology for Examining the Simultaneous Impact of Requirements, Vehicle Characteristics, and Technologies on Military Aircraft Design

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Mavris, Dimitri N.
DeLaurentis, Daniel A.
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The process of system engineering has always emphasized the definition of requirements as the first step toward product development. Typically, however, these requirements were examined in isolation from the potential systems and technologies they would likely impact. Further, requirements during design were treated deterministically, which sometimes led to non-robust and poor performing actual systems which encountered different requirements. Thus, there is a need to examine requirements early on and in a new way. This "new way" must include an environment for the simultaneous examination of requirements, design variables, and technologies. Further, this environment must be built in a probabilistic way since the requirements may be ambiguous and/or uncertain, the eventual cost and performance of critical technologies are highly uncertain, and the possibility of system The ultimate goal of the probabilistic approach is finding solutions robust to these uncertainties. A methodology for the creation of just such an environment is described in this paper. Subsequently, the implementation of the methodology is demonstrated on an example study of a notional, multi-role fighter aircraft. Important visualization and probabilistic analysis techniques are highlighted. The approach is found to be extremely valuable, especially in light of the recent initiation of several major programs in the aerospace sector which exhibit the challenges of joint service requirements, the need for advanced technologies, and an increasing emphasis on affordability.
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