Accounting for Epistemic and Aleatory Uncertainty in Early System Design

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNL07AA06C
Agency Tracking Number: 054481
Amount: $599,878.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: S2.07
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
100 North Country Road, Setauket, NY, 11733-1300
DUNS: 178047015
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Scott Ferson
 Principal Investigator
 (631) 751-4350
Business Contact
 Lev Ginzburg
Title: Business Official
Phone: (631) 751-4350
Research Institution
This project 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 1 demonstrated the capability to robustly model uncertainty during early design. Phase 2 will build on the Phase 1 work by 1) Implementing the PBA technology in Excel-mediated computing tools, 2) Fashioning an interface for these tools that enables fast and robust elicitation of expert knowledge, 3) Initiating the development of a library of such elicitations, 4) Demonstrating the application of the tools, interface and library in an interactive, distributed-computing environment, 5) Developing case studies, and 6) Creating tutorial documentation. Important applications of these new tools include the ability to rapidly and rigorously explore uncertainty regarding alternate designs, determine risk-based margins that are robust to surprise, and incorporate qualitatively described risks in quantitative analyses. This suite of capabilities is not currently available to systems engineers and cannot be provided by more traditional probabilistic risk assessment methods.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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