Joseph S. Kim

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

David R. Jacques, PhD.


The purpose of this research was to demonstrate a methodology using an Epoch-Era Analysis to quantify and estimate the value of design flexibility early in the Department of Defense's (DOD) acquisition life cycle. This method was implemented using a possible replacement to the Air Force's fighter-trainer aircraft as a baseline and a set of future requirements that would change the baseline. An existing Cost Estimating Relationship tool was utilized in conjunction with a decision tree modeling approach to accommodate uncertain future needs. Sensitivity analysis was performed to identify model parameters with dominant effects on the recommended design strategies. The results indicated that this methodology can quantitatively measure design flexibility using existing tools when key assumptions are made. The methodology exists as a proof of concept within the domain of aircraft to quantitatively measure design flexibility early in the acquisition life cycle. Further research is required to characterize the assumptions of this study and to test this methodology in other domains to validate its broader applicability.

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DTIC Accession Number