Cost and Weight Optimization of a Missile Using a Genetic Algorithm

Period of Performance: 08/24/2006 - 08/31/2008

$729K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Nextgen Aeronautics
2780 Skypark Drive Suite 400
Torrance, CA 90505
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The cost incurred in developing and producing a product or process is one of the most important considerations. Surprisingly enough, cost planning is done only at the top-level. At the design-level of the parts and sub-systems, cost consideration happen in a very limited manner. Decisions at the design level are solely based on performance criteria. This tends to make the system either over costly or it does not utilize the given resources for the fear of overrunning it. Furthermore, it relies heavily on the experience of the involved people. This paradigm needs to be changed by incorporating cost knowledge at the early design stage. This can be done by developing a software tool that can easily and accurately estimate the cost of producing a system made of wide variety of parts either obtained from a third-party vendor or made in-house using different manufacturing processes. This will let a user treat cost as an independent parameter along with other performance parameters for a cost-based design optimization. A survey of existing software tool shows that there is no commercially available tool in today s market with this functionality. This proposed work will essentially try to fill this important technological gap. It will 1) give cost estimate for each part (manufacturing and COTS) and of the system as a whole, 2) provide design alternatives based on cost and performance criteria, and 3) present the trade-offs of production scenarios (process, material, labor hours, tooling, etc).