Integration of Cost and Business Simulation into Conceptual Launch Vehicle Design
Olds, John R.
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This paper reports on research that integrates cost modeling and business simulation into conceptual design environments for advanced launch vehicle programs. A new design-oriented computer tool has been developed and used that is capable of using price-elastic market estimates, price optimization, vehicle characteristics, and historical operations data to predict key business indicators such as return on investment (ROI), internal rate of return (IRR), maximum exposure, and break-even point (BEP). This paper includes a brief introduction to this tool called Cost And Business Analysis Module (CABAM). In addition, this paper reports on the results of work to integrate the cost analyst, via CABAM, into the advanced conceptual design process (i.e. performance, propulsion, aerodynamics, weights, internal layout, aeroheating, etc.). Using industry standard tools and design practices within a controlled university environment, three sample launch vehicle concepts were designed with varying levels of participation from the cost analyst. Successes and difficulties in integration of CABAM are documented. Then, the resulting economic indicators are presented and interpreted for each of the three example conceptual designs to illustrate the type and range of data available. These example results illustrate the potential cost savings and increased profit generation possible when a 'design-for-business' philosophy is used.