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Unformatted text preview: s in such disciplines as reliability, maintainability, producibility, integrated logistics, software, testing, operations, and costing have an important supporting role in trade studies. The data collection activity, however, should be orchestrated by the system engineer. The results of this step should be a quantitative description of each alternative to accompany the qualitative. Test results on each alternative can be especially useful. Early in the systems engineering process, performance and technical attributes are generally uncertain and must be estimated. Data from breadboard and brassboard testbeds can provide additional confidence that the range of values used as model inputs is correct. Such confidence is also enhanced by drawing on data collected on related previously developed systems. The next step in the trade study process is to quantify the outcome variables by computing estimates of system effectiveness, its underlying system performance or technical attributes, and system cost. If the needed data have been collected, and the measurement methods (for example, models) are in place, then this step is, in theory, mechanical. In practice, considerable skill is often needed to get meaningful results. In an ideal world, all input values would be precisely known, and models would perfectly predict outcome variables. This not being the case, the system engineer should supplement point estimates of the outcome variables for each alternative with computed or estimated uncertainty ranges. For each uncertain key input, a range of values should be estimated. Using this range of input values, the sensitivity of the outcome variables can be gauged, and their uncertainty ranges calculated. The system engineer may be able to obtain meaningful probability distributions for the outcome variables using Monte Carlo simulation (see Section 5.4.2), but when this is not feasible, the system engineer must be content with only ranges and sensitivities. This essentially completes the analytical portion of the trade study process. The next steps can be described as the judgment...
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This document was uploaded on 02/26/2014 for the course E 515 at University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

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