Date: 10 Aug 2012

Decision Support Tool for Concurrent Engineering in Space Mission Design

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The concurrent engineering (CE) approach has been successfully applied to the early design phase of space missions. During CE sessions, a software support is needed to allow multidisciplinary design data exchange. At the moment, a spreadsheet-based solution enhanced with macros is used at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) to create a system model of a space mission during the early design phase. Now there is an increasing demand to take advantage of this system model and provide data analysis features which improve the decision making during CE sessions. Since the current approach is limited for such analysis, DLR has started developing a new tool called Virtual Satellite. It offers extended software support required by the Concurrent Engineering Facility of DLR in Bremen. On top of the previous spreadsheet functionalities, it provides means for online data analysis and system modeling. The results of these data analyses are presented to the discipline experts using different views which help in performing an early design optimization. In this paper, the impact of these views on the decision making during the AEGIS space mission study is presented as a proof of concept.