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Accounting for Epistemic and Aleatory Uncertainty in Early System Design

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2006 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Applied Biomathematics
100 North Country Rd. Setauket, NY 11733-1354
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2006
Title: Accounting for Epistemic and Aleatory Uncertainty in Early System Design
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNL06AA40P
Award Amount: $69,427.00


The proposed work extends Probability Bounds Analysis to model epistemic and aleatory uncertainty during early design of engineered systems in an Integrated Concurrent Engineering environment. This method uses efficient analytic and semi-analytic calculations, is more rigorous than probabilistic Monte Carlo simulation, and provides comprehensive and (often) best possible bounds on mission-level risk as a function of uncertainty in each parameter. Phase I will demonstrate the capability to robustly model variability (aleatory uncertainty) and incertitude (epistemic uncertainty) during early design. The demonstrated methods will (1) allow rapid, rigorous, and more complete exploration of alternate designs in the mission- and engineering-constrained trade space; (2) provide a rigorous rationale for risk-based margin determination that is robust to surprise; (3) facilitate the incorporation of qualitatively described risks in quantitative risk analysis; (4) support the integration of physics and non-physics based risks in mission-wide risk analysis; and (5) permit sensitivity analysis at the mission, system, subsystem, and component levels that identifies the importance of specific uncertainties to uncertainty at higher levels and allows the rapid exploration of alternate strategies and designs. This suite of capabilities is not currently available to systems engineers and cannot be provided by more traditional probabilistic risk assessment methods.

Principal Investigator:

Scott Ferson
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Lev Ginzburg
Small Business Information at Submission:

Applied Biomathematics
100 North Country Road Setauket, NY 11733

EIN/Tax ID: 112596502
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No