A Statistical Approach to Advanced Space Technology Cost Estimation: Modeling the Stochastic Component of the Projected Cost
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
The advancement of space systems and technology to a large extent depends on our ability to cost-effectively progress from early technology conceptualization to development, maturation and implementation. While advanced space technology development is almost always a risky endeavor, it is critical to be able to asses the risks, costs, and benefits associated with these efforts. History has shown that it is often very difficult to accurately estimate the cost of such development activities. The ability to accurately estimate the cost of space technology programs, as a function of Technology Readiness Level (TRL), is key to effective cost and risk management of such activities. The underlying assumption for the proposed effort is that the overall cost of a complex project has a strong stochastic component, which originates from many unaccountable factors, such as human productivity, synergistic and nonlinear effects, external interference, and many others effects. Therefore we propose to look at the space technology development cost estimation problem from the statistical point of view, i.e. to treat the evolution of the project cost as a process with a stochastic component.
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