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Propulsion System Advanced Cost Model

Models Track

Downloadable Files:

MOD-3 Smoker Paper


MCR has developed an Advanced Cost Model for The Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate (AFRL/VS) at Kirtland AFB, NM, to operate in concert with the Integrated Propulsion Analysis Tool (IPAT) developed by Advatech Pacific, Inc. IPAT is a conceptual design tool that can provide the physical mass properties of any new launch system that could come off the drawing boards during the next 20 years. Our paper will discuss the approach to building two top-level cost estimating relationships (CERs) – one for solid rocket motors and a second for liquid rocket launch systems. These would become the basis for the model estimation of the costs of future systems. These CERs were developed across a number of alternative configurations of solid and liquid rockets and were then calibrated using specific rockets with known mass property characteristics. With the mass properties provided by IPAT, new rocket system designs can then be compared with one another on the basis of cost to select the most affordable. The paper covers the process of applying the model to estimate costs at the WBS level and includes the application of Technical Maturity Cost Growth Factors at the primary milestones corresponding to the engineering development process from ATP through PDR, CDR, FCA, IOC, and FOC. Risk analyses are applied using FRISK at each of the engineering process phase points to arrive at the probability of success S-curves for the respective cost estimates. In addition, three-dimensional S- curves are provided to display the program-completion probabilities for various combinations of cost and schedule growth associated with the necessity to mature the technology on that schedule.


Roy Smoker
Dr. Smoker is currently employed by MCR Federal, LLC as the Technical Director of Space Programs. He retired from the United States Air Force as a colonel after 30 years of service. He received his Ph. D. in Econometrics and Public Finance from the University of Missouri, Columbia and holds a Master of Arts in Economics from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks. His undergraduate degree was in Mathematics and Economics from Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois

At MCR he has been responsible for getting on the bdSystems team in support of CAASETA, performing Independent Cost Estimates on ICBM modernization programs, and developing cost models to account for time to mature technology. During his 30-year career with the USAF, Dr. Smoker worked in a variety of program management and financial management positions. He has been the Director of Financial Management and Comptroller of the Space and Missile Systems Center, the Air Force Development Test Center, and Arnold Engineering Development Center. As a Director of Program Control he bought both Milstar secure communication satellites and the Titan IV launch vehicles to put them on orbit. During one tour in the Pentagon, he sat on the Air Force Space Panel and was responsible for preparation of 30 selected acquisition reports informing Congress on the Air Force weapons acquisition programs.

Dr. Smoker has written test and evaluation master plans, managed integrated master schedules, developed cost estimating relationships, produced cost estimates, justified program office budgets, and defended program office estimates to HQ USAF and the OSD CAIG.

Dr. Smoker is a member of a number of professional societies including:
a) The Air Force Association
b) The American Society of Military Comptrollers (past president of the LA Chapter)
c) The Society of Cost Estimating and Analysis
d) The Project Management Institute
e) The International Society of Parametric Analysts

He is certified level III in Financial Management by the USAF and has over 20 publications dealing with cost analysis and financial management.

Dan Feldman
Daniel I. Feldman is a Junior Cost Analyst at MCR, LLC. Since joining MCR in early September 2005, he has worked on developing new techniques in utilizing CER-based estimates, along with working on rocket modeling and trade-study analysis. Mr. Feldman earned his B.S. in mathematics in June 2005, at the University of California, Irvine. He is currently working on his M.S. in applied statistics at California State University, Long Beach.