1. For a gasoline-powered passenger automobile, consider the following subsystems:Drive Train, Frame and Body, and Electrical System. For each of these, group together
their major components using the principles of significance (performs an important function), singularity (largely falls within a simple discipline), and commonality (found
in a variety of system types).
2. The space shuttle is an example of an extremely complicated system using leading edge technology. Give three examples of shuttle components that you think epresented
unproven technology at the time of its development, and which much have required extensive prototyping and testing to reduce operational risks to an acceptable level.
3. What role does exploratory research and development conducted prior to the establishment of a formal system acquisition program play in advancing the objective ofa system acquisition program? What are the main differences between the organization and funding of R&D programs and system development programs? (This question
requires you to stretch you insights, since the textbook does not give a template answer. To answer this question effectively, reflect on the following questions: What are key
characteristics of R&D that have management impacts? What do we mean by exploratory R&D, and where does it fit in the overall system development process? How does
managing an R&D effort differ from managing a traditional engineering system development project, e.g., designing and building a new house?
4. Both the concept exploration and concept definition phases analyze several alternative system concepts. Explain the principal differences in the objectives of this process in the two phases and in the manner in which the analysis is performed.
1. A gasoline-powered passenger automobile can be defined as a self-powered wheeled vehicle that can be used for the purpose of transportation (Tousignant et al., 2013). In general, passenger automobiles are designed for transporting around 4 to 8 people on roadways, and are thus equipped for systems that can be used for driving the car around, parking the same, ensuring the safety and comfort of the passengers, managing a variety of lighting systems, and so on and so forth.
The most essential components of gasoline-powered passenger automobile are the following:
Drive Train: The drive train is that particular subsystem of an automobile that consists of all those machine components essential for providing power to the wheels. However, the motor that generates the power, that is the engine of the car, is not included in this particular subsystem.
The primary function of the drive train is to ensure the coupling between the power generator (that is the engine) and the power consumer (that is the drive wheels) such that the automobile runs smoothly (Johannesson & Speckert, 2013).
- Frame and Body: The frame and body of the automobile, that is the vehicle frame, is that structural framework on which the other components of the car are fitted. Thus, the frame of an automobile is analogous to the skeleton of any organism.
- Electrical System: The electrical system of any automobile is that essential subsystem that ensures that power reaches all those components of the vehicle for that are essential for its smooth operation.
In the light of the information provided in the section above, the essential components of a gasoline-powered passenger automobile can be grouped in the following manner:
- Principles of significance: All the above-mentioned subsystems are essential for the performance of the car and are thus being grouped together (Tousignant et al., 2013).
- Singularity: The electrical system and the Drive train perform similar activities and are thus being grouped together.
Commonality: The electrical system and the Drive train are commonly found in vehicular systems of all kinds and are thus being grouped together.
2. A Space Shuttle can be defined as a reusable, low Earth orbital spacecraft system, that have been designed and developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States (commonly known as NASA). It is worth mentioning that space shuttles are generally designed and developed according to the specific requirements of the Space Shuttle program. Researchers Crucian et al. (2013) comment that the entire concept of developing spacecrafts that can be utilized more than one was practically revolutionary in the early days of the space shuttle program.
However, those subsystems that demanded intense research work and testing efforts have been briefly discussed in the following section of the paper:
- Orbiter vehicle: The orbital vehicle, that resembles traditional aircrafts, is one of the most essential components of a space shuttle. The orbiters used in space shuttles are around 18m long and weigh around 200,000 to 230,000 pounds. The orbiter vehicles are designed in order to withstand at least 100 missions. Researcher Heppenheimer (2014) is of the opinion that extensive research works were conducted for developing orbiter vehicles that capable of withstanding multiple usage, along with the systemic testing and validation of each of the proposed designs.
- Solid Rocket boosters: According to Crucian et al. (2013), the solid rocket boosters included within space shuttles were at that point of time by far the largest propellant motors designed by human beings. The 116 feet long and 12 feet wide solid rocket booster motors are capable of housing as much as a few million pounds of fuel, thus supporting the combustion required for the takeoff of the space shuttle. The researchers are of the opinion that developing a propulsion motor of such caliber was ahead technology available at that particular phase of time.
- The primary engines, that run on liquid hydrogen and oxygen were designed specifically for the space shuttle program and had to be tested several times before attaining perfection.
3. According to Carafoli and Montecucco (2016), exploratory research designs are effectively utilized in conducting research works typically in such cases in which the problem being focused on has not been defined properly. The researchers are of the opinion that exploratory research helps in the development of the concept in a much clearer manner, thus establishing the research goals, objectives and priorities in an effective manner.
A formal system acquisition program helps in the formalization of the specific requirements of the system being designed. Thus, it can be said that exploratory research and development helps in defining the entire concept to be designed.
According to researchers Muscio, Quaglione and Vallanti (2013), the process of funding Research and Development programs has certain characteristic differences with that of making arrangements for funds to be utilized in system development programs. The authors are of the opinion that most Research and Development programs are funded by government authorities: either by the state government itself or departments belonging to the same. Thus, in spite of technically being dependent on the government for the funding process, the administrative authorities associated with R and D programs report to public authorities regarding their progress.
On the other hand, system development programs are solely managed by administrative personnel who are made responsible for the management of the entire project, starting from managing the funds being provided by any organization to proper allocation of the entire budget.
Thus, it can be said that the primary difference between the funding process of system development programs and R&D programs lays in the fact that R and D programs have to depend on government agencies for the funds, whereas organizations themselves fund their system development programs. Thus, vast research works (including the development of new designs, along with the testing and validation of the same) were required for the development of each of the components.
4. Muscio, Quaglione and Vallanti (2013) opined that the definition phase of the important objective can make sure the potential conceptual opportunities that explore the phase of setting up the requirements of system performance.
On the other hand, Olsen (2012) argued that in the phase of concept development, comparison between individual functions and system functions have been explored with the subsystems. Adams et al. (2014) suggested that in the concept development phase, concepts are virtualized. Therefore, the concept definition and concept exploration is not the same.
According to Adams et al. (2014), the primary objective of the concept definition phase is to ensure that no potential concept design is missed out from being considered. On the other hand, the concept exploration phase is associated with the identification of the specific requirements of any system and the consequent transmission of the same to the concept definition phase.
Researcher Olsen (2012) on the other hand are o the opinion that the concept development phase is essentially associated with the task of conducting a comparison among the various systems available, all the while considering the concepts to be individual systems (in contrast to considering them as separate functionalities). However, the individual functionalities of the said concepts are considered and compared in the concept definition phase. Last but not the least, the specific requirements of the system under consideration are explored in details in the concept exploration phase, along with all the subsystems of the same. Besides this, the functionalities to be included in the system (along with all the subsystems) in consideration are also explored in this particular phase. However, it is worth mentioning that the emphasis is made only on the components of the system.
Thus, it can be said the process of analysis conducted in the concept definition phase is entirely different from that of used in the concept exploration phase.
Adams, K. M., Hester, P. T., Bradley, J. M., Meyers, T. J., & Keating, C. B. (2014). Systems theory as the foundation for understanding systems. Systems Engineering, 17(1), 112-123.
Carafoli, E., & Montecucco, C. (2016). Research funding: Reform oversight of Italy's science funds. Nature, 533(7602), 179-179.
Crucian, B., Stowe, R., Mehta, S., Uchakin, P., Quiriarte, H., Pierson, D., & Sams, C. (2013). Immune system dysregulation occurs during short duration spaceflight on board the space shuttle. Journal of clinical immunology, 33(2), 456-465.
Heppenheimer, T. A. (2014). History of the Space Shuttle, Volume Two: Development of the Space Shuttle, 1972-1981 (Vol. 2). Smithsonian Institution.
Johannesson, P., & Speckert, M. (Eds.). (2013). Guide to load analysis for durability in vehicle engineering. John Wiley & Sons.
Muscio, A., Quaglione, D., & Vallanti, G. (2013). Does government funding complement or substitute private research funding to universities?. Research Policy, 42(1), 63-75.
Olsen, A. (2012). Systems engineering using SDL-92. Newnes.
Tousignant, T., Govindswamy, K., Tomazic, D., Eisele, G., & Genender, P. (2013). NVH Target Cascading from Customer Interface to Vehicle Subsystems (No. 2013-01-1980). SAE Technical Paper.