by John Swaren
| December 3, 2015
We presented the results of an independent study last month at NASA’s annual Cost Symposium. For those of you unable to attend, we thought it only fair to publish the highlights. As background, the TruePlanning for Space Missions Catalog (“TPSM”) has been well-received since its official launch at last year’s Symposium by our Chief Scientist. Since then, we’ve done Space-related webinars and multiple blogs, all available on this website.
However, what was impressed upon us by a longtime NASA customer, at the recent ICEEA annual conference, was that our users would highly benefit from a validation study that they could share with their internal management. We here at PRICE are always willing & able to support our customers; we certainly want you empowered to demonstrate our product’s usefulness and defensibility. This new study’s presentation will also be on our website.
I would just like to highlight our summary. We used 12 recent NASA robotic Earth and Space Science missions. These past programs with known actuals represent Planetary, Astrophysics and Heliophysics mission-types. As you can read in the presentation online, typical adjustments were applied to their actuals to normalize for economics, quantity, contributions, external impacts and costs external to TPSM. We also noted that individual projects allocate costs and programmatics differently. Likewise, we caveated that a follow-up study should include a larger sample size, particularly with missions representing Earth Science.
That all said, our results were solid— where we use the usual definition of “error” as difference between predicted and actual, as a percentage of actual:
Again, this independent study was relatively small. But we expect similar good results with more observations. What’s more important is the transparency of this validation. It should definitely “answer the mail” for justifying this new TPSM catalog to internal management. But by all means— if you need more substantiation at your organization, please call us. It’s always a pleasure to get your questions answered and get you empowered to sustain internal support for using our tools.
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