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Adoption of our Space Missions Catalog has been strong this year.  But many of you have asked if and when the TruePlanning for Hardware Catalog could be enhanced for unmanned space applications, both earth-orbiting & planetary missions.  You asked, we are very soon delivering! For 2016, we will soon roll out an extensive listing of MCPLXSs and MCPLXEs, likely implemented in the Equipment Type input.  This new table of manufacturing complexities was developed specifically for use with the TruePlanning for Hardware catalog.  A combination of three sources of data were utilized:          I.            The PRICE Knowledge Network (KN),       II.            ...
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 ...
Original Post Date: June 2, 2015 At PRICE Systems, we always tout that calibration of past actual cost and schedule data is the best way to get to an accurate, data-driven estimate.  I received a call recently to see if we have a set of best practices for calibration, but in reality the calibration process itself is a fairly simple process, it’s the data collection and normalization that happens before the calibration step that is really important.  This is partly because the assumptions you make when collecting the data and building the calibration file should drive how you use the ...
Original Post Date: 05/15/2015 The Space Missions Catalog for TruePlanning has been out in the field now for over 6 months now, and as estimators get to understand these new cost objects, many questions arise.  As you may know, the Space Missions Catalog was designed to estimate the total cost (or price) of NASA Robotic Earth and Space Science Missions, and while it is very valuable to understand the total expected cost of a mission, you always want more details.  In the case of Space Missions, one often heard question is, “How much of this is associated with the NASA ...
Original Post Date: Friday, January 9, 2015 Do you generate cost growth S curves? S-curves and Percentile tables are generated by the Risk tools which can reflect mass growth and growth as modeled in other input uncertainties. Per our discussion, note that NASA typically requires mass growth to reflect Optimistic = CBE, Most Likely = CBE + Contingency and Pessimistic = Most Likely +30%. To watch the "Best Practices using the TruePlanning Space Missions" Webinar, click here.
How can I convert space-related PES files to TruePlanning? If you all are still using PRICE-H and not yet using TruePlanning, there are now tools available to fast-forward your file conversions. You have two options:  convert your models to the True-Hardware catalog or to the new Space Catalog. In the latter case, you can also choose to estimate System Level resources per below-- Different NASA Centers and contractors are opting for either approach, depending on their existing methodologies.  If you want to leverage our data-driven CERs for the above categories, then use the Space Catalog. If you do your own “post processing” then either ...
Am I correct in understanding that in order to determine Payload PM, SE, MA [e.g., WBS 5.1, 5.2, 5.3], Payload I&T/GSE [e.g., WBS 5.5, 5.6], Spacecraft PM, SE, MA [e.g., WBS 6.1, 6.2, 6.3], and Spacecraft I&T/GSE [e.g., WBS 6.6] costs, each user must export TP results into an Excel spreadsheet, then apply their own factor to obtain the aforementioned WBS costs because TP lumps all of those costs into 1 PM bucket, 1 SE bucket, 1 MA bucket and 1 I&T bucket? And we have to do this every time we make a change to determine those costs? Gosh ...
From the presentation, it looked like the TP risk area included the capability for percent inputs around the point inputs rather than having to enter value? Yes, we’ve added Percent (as well as offset) to the FRISK input method to set pessimistic and optimistic values off the point values.  In the 1st example below I’ve used +20% and -10% respectively, around the Weight of Structure’s point’s value.  Per the 2nd example below, we can do likewise in our Monte Carlo companion applications, where our new custom logic satisfies NASA’s typical approach for mass growth-risk with Optimistic=CBE {i.e., your point value}, ...
Does any of the Space catalogs (objects) cover the launch vehicle and stage 1 & 2 engines?  Do the defaults cover manned space? Not, not soon at least.  HOWEVER, we and multiple NASA Centers have used the True-Hardware/Software catalogs for many years to estimate launch vehicles and manned vehicles.  Currently the Space Missions Catalog objects (i.e., estimating models) support robotic and unmanned missions.  But again, in the TruePlanning catalogs (HW, SW, Systems, etc), there has always been an Operating Specification choice for manned space per below— To watch the "Best Practices using the TruePlanning Space Missions" Webinar, click here.
Will other recent programs be added (to basis/analysis/CERs)? Yes, typically within one year of launch. We don’t often need to make changes to the component estimates but we test them as new data comes in. The support functions get minor tweaks each time we add another data point. To watch the "Best Practices using the TruePlanning Space Missions" Webinar, click here.
Do you plan to add MAVEN any time soon? Just learned that yes, Maven will be added to the basis & analysis in the near future. To watch the "Best Practices using the TruePlanning Space Missions" Webinar, click here.
In your webinar presentation-- Slide 21: NASA WBS mapping for the WBS 4.0 – this slide seems to indicate that this WBS is estimated by TP Slide 35: Space Systems Object – this slide seems to indicate that this WBS is estimated by TP Slide 48: Mapping Rules.. – this slide seems to indicate that this WBS is estimated by TP, but Notes column this very slide are contradicting this – by saying typically passed-thru what would be right approach; shall we have a pass-thru number for this WBS (4.0) or shall we assume that the TP estimate includes this WBS? Good catch!  ...
If you look at slide 68 of the presentation (Reference Mission Set Used in the Chicago Development Cost Model), it says that the data sets includes “actual costs for completed projects and projected costs for projects in development and near-term mission candidates”. Does this mean that historical actuals were used and there was no normalization of the data?  Does the actual costs include contractor fee and any subcontractor burdens or were those stripped out?  If contractor fees or burdens were removed, how do we go about adding that to the model estimate?  Is there an input parameter for that ...
It is not evident how WBS 10.0 which is not just integration of all systems together but also the integration with launch vehicle as well as other related launch operations is calculated without knowing the complexities of the mission.  Also, environmental I&T associated with observatory integration is in WBS 10.0. WBS 10 covers all S/C and System-level I&T that is not specific to an individual instrument or S/C subsystem. It includes Assembly & Integration, System Test, and Ground Support Equipment. Costs for the prototype/EM hardware used in flight system testbeds are covered within each applicable component estimate (represented by the ...
Why is there no assembly level object at the s/c top level.  All the subsystems within the s/c bus need to be assembled because all the s/c bus subsystems are very much intertwined together. So there has to be an assembly object at the top of the bus? Assembly I&T is performed by the Space Subsystem object.  Adding an additional Assembly object at the top of multiple subsystem-assembly pairings produces very high redundant costs.  However, the estimator can certainly perform organizational calibration and use worksheet set multipliers to adjust outputs at this top level if an overall assembly is added. ...
What about software? I never heard it mentioned. How does the space catalog address software? Actually, we did discuss software briefly.  Since flight software is included with each electronic item, some portion of an independently estimated software cost should be removed from the result.  The separate TruePlanning for Software catalog can be used to estimate development and COTS new/modified/reused/deleted code, sized via multiple approaches:  SLOC, function point, use cases as well as via a Functional Sizing calculator. To watch the "Best Practices using the TruePlanning Space Missions" Webinar, click here.
What kinds of software costs would you say are not included in the calibrated cost to the particular space component? Flight software costs are included with each electronic component.  Ground software costs are included with MOS.  Ground data handling costs beyond the typical level used by most robotic space missions may not be adequately covered with the MOS factors. To watch the "Best Practices using the TruePlanning Space Missions" Webinar, click here.
Some space components had an asterisk (modeled outside of PRICE TruePlanning)?  What does that mean? There are some components that are not found on the Component Type drop down but rather are modeled with CERs outside of True H (Space Parachute for example).  These CERs are available via custom cost objects, per below, rather than the Space Component cost object. To watch the "Best Practices using the TruePlanning Space Missions" Webinar, click here.
Is there an EM and prototype calculator, or do you treat every type or prototoype (breadboard, brassboard, mass model, etc) as a full prototype? Fractional prototype quantities are acceptable.  Regarding a calculator-- good idea.  We will investigate feasibility. To watch the "Best Practices using the TruePlanning Space Missions" Webinar, click here.
Can you mix catalog objects from different catalogs into the same assembly? (ex. a microcircuit with a space component) The Space Catalog was designed to use only the components in that Catalog and some activities are different to other Catalogs.  When using a Space System cost object, a Space Sub-assembly and a Space Assembly, do not mix regular System, Assembly and Hardware Cost Objects in the same Space System.  If Regular System, Assembly and Hardware items are included as component of a Space System, the results will be different to using only Space Catalog components.  A Project may contain separate Space ...
On one of your slides you mention using Assembly at the subsystem level for HW to HW integration (I can see this for Payloads as those are usually stand alone),  however, for spacecrafts a lot of subsystems aren't integrated as a stand alone, are you overstating possible costs by doing at each subsystem vs. a spacecraft level assembly which would encompass the integration of all the subsystems at the spacecraft level? A bus (or payload) can have just one subsystem-assembly pairing, with all components listed below, rather than multiple subsystems (or instruments) each with multiple separate pairings.  In general, note that the ...
You mentioned using production qty vs. prototype, even with the Space Mission Objects, however typically Spacecrafts are very low qty and my experience from heavy PRICE H use is that the production qty uses a much steeper slope. Is it now more realistic with the industry data in the space objects that production qty is good to use now? Yes, that is our recommendation.  We have seen production first units higher in cost than prototypes.  We recommend using the latter for engineering models and test units. To watch the "Best Practices using the TruePlanning Space Missions" Webinar, click here.
Do you have capability to do CONOPS which drive the design? Good idea!  As demonstrated, we allow the user to model complexity (or any other input) as a function of requirements, specifications, etc which could include a CONOPS value as well.  Also, another companion application is our linkage to the design-trade tools ModelCenter and i-Sight. To watch the "Best Practices using the TruePlanning Space Missions" Webinar, click here.
Are you able to triangulate bounds on inputs, low -high-average, to get nominal values? Yes, the risk tools above all allow for triangular distributions.  Specifically in FRISK, the “Auto” selection (from the Method drop-down in the Risk Input Sheet) will generate pessimistic and optimistic values around the point estimate’s baseline.  Or the inputs can be manually input. To watch the "Best Practices using the TruePlanning Space Missions" Webinar, click here.
Do the cost models include SEER, USCM, OGC, NAFCOM, ACEIT? Per our discussion, ACEIT is an export option from TruePlanning.  And we are evaluating the feasibility of hosting PCEC (fka NAFCOM) as a custom catalog, available to NASA users. To watch the "Best Practices using the TruePlanning Space Missions" Webinar, click here.
Spares may be a contract deliverable? Yes.  Quantities include flight units, spares and prototypes for Ems/proof-of-concept builds. To watch the "Best Practices using the TruePlanning Space Missions" Webinar, click here.
Can cost estimates be “simulated” using Monte Carlo (or alike) to model probabilistically based costing? Monte Carlo simulation is via Crystal Ball and @Risk. To watch the "Best Practices using the TruePlanning Space Missions" Webinar, click here.
How is cost uncertainty integrated into cost basis and subsequent roll-up into subsystems, etc? Complexities are density functions that act as surrogates for combinations of CERs.  Hence, overall model prediction error is reflected by the impact of complexity uncertainty on overall risk at subsystem and system levels. To watch the "Best Practices using the TruePlanning Space Missions" Webinar, click here.
Can you provide additional information regarding the missions used for the basis of the Space Mission Catalog? Table 1 - Scope of Historical Data Table 2 - Planetary Missions in the Database Table 3 - Astrophysics Missions in the Database Table 4 - Earth Science Missions in Database To watch the "Best Practices using the TruePlanning Space Missions" Webinar, click here.
Can you provide a pointer to additional information regarding the ChiCoMo Model? Here’s an earlier webinar by our Chief Scientist: http://www.pricesystems.com/Resources/Videos/tabid/487/VideoId/23/language/en-US/Default.aspx To watch the "Best Practices using the TruePlanning Space Missions" Webinar, click here.