Posted by

Modeling to Establish the Affordability KPP

Models and Methods Track



Dr. Ashton Carter’s November 2010 memo provided a number of initiatives aimed at achieving better buying power for Defense spending. The guidance presented several new requirements to be completed during Milestone-A and Milestone-B such as the establishment of Affordability Targets. One or the common threads across both acquisition phases is an analysis of performance vs. cost. Programs are required to generate a target cost KPP and provide the necessary cost tradeoff curves which justify the established target. Historically, cost estimates at MS-A and certainly by MS-B rely on baseline descriptions, frequently documented as the Cost Analysis Requirements Description (CARD), which outline a point design solution for the estimator to cost. At this point in time, the cost analyst does not have any influence on the optimal design or performance. With integrated cost and technical models the cost analysis field will have more valuable tools from which to generate and guide decisions on a cost target as well as conduct tradeoffs against cost drivers.

Typical satellite cost model inputs, such as weight, power, and heritage, are outputs from an engineering analysis. Many of the major design tradeoffs have already been complete by the time a CARD is released. Our models need to go a step further – to the engineering inputs – to create dynamic tools to perform performance and cost trades. This paper will walkthrough a tradeoff example for a hypothetical EO satellite as well as the process utilized to create the model. It will present some fundamental physics and engineering principles that translate performance requirements to design variables for electro-optical payloads and the supporting bus subsystems. Identification of the “knee in the curve” and trade-offs between these variables are also modeled and presented. The paper will conclude with areas of further improvement that AFCAA is currently pursuing.

This research was sponsored and supported by the Air Force Cost Analysis Agency (AFCAA).


Samuel Toas
TASC, Inc.
Samuel Toas is an Associate Technical Fellow for TASC and is currently providing cost support for the Air Force Cost Analysis Agency (AFCAA) Space Division and Naval Engineering Logistics Office (NELO). Mr. Toas has several years of experience working for Intelligence Community and Department of Defense customers, performing cost estimating, risk analysis, and model development on various Space and AIS programs. Mr. Toas has an engineering background and was previously employed as a Research Manager for an industrial turbine manufacturer. Mr. Toas previously taught and presented at the 2008/09/10 SCEA National Conferences. He is also a participating member of the Joint Space Cost Council Risk Team. Sam graduated from Georgia Tech in 1999 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering.

Gregory Hogan
Air Force Cost Analysis Agency
Mr. Hogan is currently the Senior Technical Expert for space systems at the Air Force Cost Analysis Agency. In this capacity, he directly participates in the formulation of cost estimates at the Space Division and leads various research projects targeting cost estimating deficiencies in Space Community. His unique position provides him the flexibility to partner with other Agencies; e.g., DNI, NRO, NASA, and Navy; to ensure methods, research, and data are keeping up with emerging technology and acquisition improvements, e.g., WSARA and EASE. Mr. Hogan graduated from Penn State University, receiving a BS degree in Industrial Engineering and then earned a MS degree in Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech. He is a recognized instructor of cost estimating & analysis to audiences from the Department of Defense (DoD), Intelligence Community (IC), NASA, and Industry. He has published a number of papers on topics such as Technical Baseline Assessments and Class A/C Satellites. As a recognized leader in the cost / risk estimating domain, he is also an active member of the Joint Space Cost Council (JSCC) and the GAO cost expert panel.