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09010unc_framev2 - Uncertainty 1 Framework for...

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Uncertainty 1. Framework for understanding uncertainty and its effects 2. Sources of Uncertainty 3. Clarity Test 4. Taxonomy of Uncertainty for aerospace products 5. Uncertainty and Risk 6. Treatment of Uncertainty in space companies 7. Advanced Discussion of Uncertainty a. Irreducible Uncertainty inc human agency b. Portfolio Theory c. Portfolio Applications Framework for understanding uncertainty and its effects * Many types of uncertainty affect the design and operation of space systems. Mature techniques exist for some classes of uncertainties, e.g. rolling up component reliabilities to calculate system reliability, and mitigating problems with redundancy. Techniques are emerging for many other classes of uncertainty, e.g. budget and policy instability and the effects of non-collocated teams during design. Uncertainty is not always a negative to be mitigated; robust, versatile and flexible systems not only mitigate uncertainties, they can also create additional value for users. The current environment of rapidly changing technologies and markets on the commercial side, and rapidly changing technologies, threats, needs, and budgets on the defense side, has created a need for better understanding of these classes of uncertainties and their effects on complex airspace systems. This problem is recognized at a national level, and “robust”, “flexible”, or “evolutionary” systems and designs have been called for. Unfortunately, tools for handling these classes of uncertainties are immature, and methods for flexible or evolutionary designs are in their infancy. The wide range of types of uncertainties and possible responses to them make unified discussions of the problem difficult. In particular, discussion of desired advanced system characteristics such as robustness, flexibility, and adaptability is plagued by poorly defined terminology. This difficulty is particularly acute when teaching both the basic problems and the emerging techniques to students of complex system design. As an aid to discussion and teaching, a framework is presented in Hastings and McManus . It includes an important set of definitions for the desired advanced system attributes. In this chapter, uncertainty, its relation to risk, current practice in the US space industry, and the mitigation of some classes of risk through trade space analysis and tools borrowed from finance will be explored. The next two chapters explore the use of system * Text in this section modified from Hastings, D., and McManus, H., “A Framework for Understanding Uncertainty and its Mitigation and Exploitation in Complex Systems,” 2004 Engineering Systems Symposium, MIT, March 2004.
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flexibility to not only mitigate negative uncertainties, but to exploit the positive side of uncertainties. Finally, techniques for quantifying and mitigating a difficult class of uncertainties–those due to policy decisions and changes–are explored.
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