Authors: Edward J. Copeland, Thomas H. Holzer, Timothy J. Eveleigh, and Shahryar Sarkani
The inability of Department of Defense (DoD) programs to sufficiently reduce technology risk prior to entering formal systems development has between 2007 and 2012 contributed to a 13 percent cost growth in weapon systems acquisition and a 17 percent increase in cycle time to deliver initial operational capability. With the advent of key legislation and resulting DoD acquisition reform initiatives, weapon systems programs are now required to enforce a technology development strategy that can foster true risk reduction prior to entering systems development. A key enabler to reducing technology risk and thereby accelerating design maturity is the use of system prototype demonstrations. The objective of this article is to present research findings on the “effects of system prototype demonstrations on weapons systems development” for major defense acquisition programs. The results of this research will better inform systems engineers and contribute to improved technology development strategy.
Author: Daniel Deitz, Timothy J. Eveleigh, Thomas H. Holzer, and Shahryar Sarkani
Today, programs are required to do more with less. With 70 percent of a system’s life-cycle cost set at pre-Milestone B, the most significant cost savings potential is prior to Milestone B. Pre-Milestone B efforts are usually reduced to meet tight program schedules. This article proposes a new Systems Engineering Concept Tool and Method (SECTM) that uses genetic algorithms to quickly identify optimal solutions. Both are applied to unmanned undersea vehicle design to show process feasibility. The method increases the number of alternatives assessed, considers technology maturity risk, and incorporates systems engineering cost into the Analysis of Alternatives process. While not validated, the SECTM would enhance the likelihood of success for sufficiently resourced programs.
Authors: Meredith Eiband, Timothy J. Eveleigh, Thomas H. Holzer, and Shahryar Sarkani
Department of Defense (DoD) programs often experience cost overruns and technical difficulties due to reuse of legacy systems. With today’s fiscal climate of resource-constrained DoD budgets, reuse of legacy systems is frequently touted as the solution to cost, efficiency, and time-to-delivery problems; however, cost overruns and technical difficulties can significantly diminish any perceived benefits. Through evaluation of eight diverse DoD programs, this research shows that the state of a legacy system’s documentation, availability of subject matter expertise, and complexity/feasibility of integration are key factors that must be analyzed. Based on these three key factors, the authors propose a framework to aid both the DoD and defense contractors in the evaluation of legacy systems for potential efficient and effective reuse.