COLUMNS ON MINIMUM COST DESIGN
Dunn Engineering is pleased to make available to the public a series of columns prepared by Arthur Schnitt, entitled "Minimum Cost Design".
Minimum cost design (MCD) is a criterion for the design of space hardware. The criterion minimizes total program costs by trading cost, weight and reliability. The criterion differs from more commonly used design criteria that minimize weight and maximizes performance.
The columns dated from January 26, 1997 to June 4, 1998 were initially hosted by New Space and later by Launchspace Publications on their Web sites. Later, the columns were hosted by General Astronatics.
Some of the columns are commentaries but most deal with the derivation, analytic and design aspects of the MCD criterion. The criterion is demonstrated by describing its application to the design of the MCD Space Launch Vehicle (often referred to as the Big Dumb Booster) and the Semi-Mobile Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (SMICBM). The application of the criterion to the redesign of an existing satellite is also described.
Many columns are written in story format so that the trials and tribulations Mr. Schnitt experienced in conducting this work are described for the purpose of providing a better understanding of the criterion, and the antagonistic attitude toward its use taken by the established members of the aerospace community.
Correspondence related to these columns may be sent directly to Arthur Schnitt via e-mail: Mr. Schnitt's user name is "aschnitt", and his Internet service provider is "sbcglobal.net". These may be combined in the usual way with an "@" symbol to make a valid E-mail address.
Mr. Schnitt conducted his work on MCD while employed by The Aerospace Corporation. Previous to joining Aerospace in 1958, he held the position of chief structures engineer at Bell Aircraft, and was known for his cutting-edge work and publications on the subject of structures operating at elevated temperatures.
Note: Some links on these published pages have been broken, as material once available on the Internet has been removed or relocated. The original links are left and serve as a starting point for those who wish to try to re-locate the documents. Information about updating broken links is appreciated. The original commentaries for the columns included the personal E-mail addresses of a number of commentators. These have been removed, as many of them are no longer valid, and to protect those E-mail addresses which are still valid from being harvested by companies that send out unsolicited E-mail advertising.
Jan 26 '97 -- SSTO: A Path to Minimum Cost?
Feb 05 '97 -- Recommended Reading
Feb 15 '97 -- The Genesis
Mar 04 '97 -- Results of Parametric Analysis
Mar 15 '97 -- MCD Criteria- A Description
Mar 27 '97 -- Methods of Design Analysis
Apr 10 '97 -- Design Example: The SMICBM
May 01 '97 -- Design Example: The MCD/SLV
May 15 '97 -- Design Example: The MCD/SLV Continued
May 29 '97 -- Additional Studies of the MCD Criteria
Jun 12 '97 -- MCD Payload Studies
Jun 26 '97 -- Start Up Companies
Sep 18 '97 -- OTA Experiences
Oct 10 '97 -- OTA Experiences Continued
Nov 10 '97 -- OTA's Draft Report on "Big Dumb Boosters"
Jan 05 '98 -- OTA's Final Report on "Big Dumb Boosters" Part 1
Jan 28 '98 -- OTA's Final Report on "Big Dumb Boosters" Part 2
May 04 '98 -- OTA's Report on "Affordable Spacecraft"
Jun 04 '98 -- A Relevant Happening