One of the most important tasks within the evaluation of space systems is cost analysis; however, there is a lack of technical and programmatic information in the early phase of a space project which complicates a meaningful cost analysis. For this reason, the parametric cost estimation method is increasingly used. So-called Cost Estimating Relationships (CER) are taken into account here. Next to the use of open-source cost models, EVACO also develops its own, DLR-intern cost model, which allows for the special circumstances of DLR. Besides the single cost models, general efficiency analyses are also created in this area. Evaluation methods which are used are among others:
- SWOT analysis
- Morphologic case analysis
- Scenario analysis
- Portfolio techniques
- System dynamic models
- PE Porters 5 Forces
Within these analysis we use the software think-cell, which is an add-in, helping to create complex diagrams such as Waterfall or Gantt models easily. For university or research purposes free licenses are available. Further information can be found on the think-cell website.
Within this area, different software tools are developed to support the Concurrent Engineering (CE) process. The Knowledge Management (KM) architecture S.P.O.C.K. (Software Platform for Organizing and Capturing Knowledge) has been developed as an essential support tool. The tool has been designed within an ESA order especially for the CE environment to support engineers and experts within the CEF in the conceptual design of space systems.
The SSAM (Space Manufacturer and Supplier) database comprises common space related components with its technical parameters. This database facilitates the search for specific components (e.g. batteries, solar cells, patch antennas). A distinct feature of this database is the active involvement of space industry. Via personalized access (user account), companies can independently upload offered hardware components. Thus, it is certain that the component data are always up to date.
Another database that has been developed by the section EVACO deals with the parametric compilation of past space systems. This Concurrent Engineering Reference Database (CERD) comprises most of the technical and mission-specific parameters of a space vehicle. Using this database, important conclusions can be drawn by analogy between the developing space vehicle and past space systems concurrently to the CE design process. This reference database supports the engineers in their decisions, and the entire design process is accelerated.
Analysis of Space Concepts (Systems/Missions)
In this area system and mission concepts are worked out, design-tasks are carried out on a subsystem level (e.g. structure, thermal, power, communication) and trades on e.g. accommodation, integration of instruments, budgets, operation and costs are worked out. To realize complemented studies the department networks with experts of other departments, institutes and externs, if needed. Furthermore, internationally known systems and visions are investigated and future possibilities for German and European space missions are analysed, whereas missing and existing competencies are outlined in the correspondent areas.
Mission Analysis based on STK
In the field of astronautics, analyses were conducted for a potential manned European space transport on the basis of the ATV-technology in terms of technical applicability and operational scenarios (BERT/ATV-Evolution). Furthermore, scenarios for exploration of Moon, Earth and sun are calculated. Therefore, the intensive collaboration with scientists and users was a key factor for successful study. Studies pertaining to the problem of climate change, i.e. detection of greenhouse gases satellite systems, were also analyzed. Additionally, the detailed mission analysis of AsteroidFinder/SSB Compact Satellite is supported.
Every space mission is exposed to the potential danger that micro-meteorites and space debris pose. To estimate the risks of space missions, simulation models (MASTER, ORDEM) were used in order to generate probabilities concerning space debris. The in situ verification of the analytical methods on orbital space debris environment is also part of the department.