Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Clay M. Koschnick, PhD


Low Earth Orbit (LEO) is becoming an increasingly congested orbital regime. As a result, propulsion systems on CubeSats are becoming a more desirable feature to provide them with collision avoidance capabilities. To date, there have been very few CubeSat launches with a propulsion system on them. Due to the relatively high cost of a propulsion system compared to the budget of small educational organizations, a decision analysis model is needed so that these organizations can make the best decision between whether to purchase a Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) product or to develop one within the organization. This research applies three decision analysis methods: Simple Multi-Attribute Rating Technique with Swing weights (SMARTS), the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP), and Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA). A comparison of the strengths and weaknesses of these methods when applied to the propulsion system selection problem is then conducted.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number