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Trade Space, Product Optimization and Parametric Analysis

Models and Methods Track




This paper shows how to bound, build and assemble trade spaces for product optimization.

The advent of computerized tools that describe available trade spaces has changed not only the nature of optimized product design, but that of parametric cost studies as well. Because these tools allow broader analysis, engineers produce more potential designs and parametricians must produce many more estimates in support of them.

However, rather than trailing such engineering studies, parametricians may be able to lead them. In the process parametricians may be able to move their organizations toward more economically viable configurations, those that the markets for their products will more readily accept.

Heretofore in many military and some commercial programs the desired configurations have been those that have pushed the limits of technology and offered capabilities not previously available. When performance has been the overarching metric, engineers have designed products that led their fields.

What happens when market economics becomes as or more important than performance? In such conditions engineers typically do not have all of the means available to them to make the decisions that would offer the best solutions. At this juncture, however, well-equipped parametricians may offer some vitally important tools and methods that aid in product optimization.

These tools, explained in this paper, allow parametricians to structure trade space analyses that can derive products with attributes that have the best chances for market success.


Douglas K. Howarth
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
Doug Howarth is the Parametric Estimating Group Lead at Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works. He has presented several papers the International Society of Parametric Analysts. He presented his paper, “VSTOL Aircraft market analysis” to the Royal Aeronautical Society at the 2008 International Powered Lift Conference and the Society published it in February 2009 edition of The Aeronautical Journal. He has also presented to the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Society of Automotive Engineers and the Society of Allied Weight Engineers. Doug published “Financial Catscans and Time” in July 2006 in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Aerospace Conference, “Profit as an Independent Variable: The Case of Business Aircraft” in Spring 2007 edition of The Journal of Parametrics, and “N-Dimensional Market Maps” in the March 2010 edition of SAE’s Journal of Aerospace. Doug graduated from Washington State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.