Minimum Cost Design

This book contains a series of articles prepared by Arthur Schnitt, entitled "Minimum Cost Design".

Minimum cost design (MCD) is a criteria for the design of space hardware. The criteria minimizes total program costs by trading cost, weight and reliability. The criteria differs from the more commonly used design criteria that minimizes weight and maximizes performance. Several figures are included that show design criteria for MCD.

Some of the articles are commentaries, but most deal with the derivation, analytic and design aspects of the MCD criteria. The criteria 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. The application of the criteria 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 criteria, and the antagonistic attitude toward its use taken by the established members of the aerospace community.

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.


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