ORS Mission Utility and Measures of Effectiveness

Abstract:

This paper briefly summarizes the traditional space system mission utility analysis process in order to establish a framework for utility analysis for Operationally Responsive Space (ORS). We then define both general and specific ORS Measures of Effectiveness (MoEs) in the following broad categories:

  • Cost
  • Responsiveness
  • Coverage
  • Data Quality or Quantity
  • Risk
  • Flexibility
  • Goal-Oriented

These are adjusted somewhat with respect to the traditional utility categories of performance, cost, risk, and schedule to reflect the fact that ORS missions are not duplicative of traditional missions, but complementary to them.

ORS mission utility is particularly challenging in part because traditional missions typically have a constant, long-term purpose (e.g., provide 0.25 meter resolution images of any point on the Earth’s surface within 48 hours), whereas ORS missions, by their very nature, are intended to respond to dynamic world events (e.g., provide appropriate coverage of hurricane Katrina or the recent flare-up in Kenya). This makes utility measures inherently more challenging. Nonetheless, demonstrating and quantifying mission utility is key to funding ORS missions in an environment of severely constrained budgets and is critical to the future success of ORS.

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Wertz, J. 6th Responsive Space Conference, Los Angeles, CA. April 28–May 1, 2008.