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Appendix O: Independent Technical, Risk, and Cost Evaluation
Pages 539-544

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From page 539...
... The purpose of this appendix is to describe the process through which the Aerospace Corporation's independent TRACE evaluations were implemented and how they were managed and considered by the survey. The TRACE provided broad guidance to the Program Panels in the form of a forward-looking assessment of potential technical risks and likely cost and schedule boxes associated with a mission concept, but not definitive cost nor schedule estimates.
From page 540...
... It is also anchored in the processes developed in support of the independent estimating of both NASA and Department of Defense projects. The details of the Aerospace Corporation process have been captured in multiple reports and presentations, including The Space Science Decadal Surveys-Lessons Learned and Best Practices1 and CATE Overview, Astro2020 Large Mission Concepts.2 Highlights of the TRACE process included using Aerospace Corporation proprietary models and databases, validated through multiple processes, including comparisons to historical implementations, discussed below.
From page 541...
... Results included technical risk ratings, power and mass margins, and other risk data. Cost histograms were presented to compare costs developed using a range of independent cost estimating methods, including classical estimating methods, risk estimating programs (e.g., SEER, MICM, NICM, MOCET, FRISK, etc.5)
From page 542...
... The TRACE processes forecasted final project costs, timelines, and critical paths, allowing "unknown unknowns," or "threats," to be captured, typically producing more conservative values, e.g., manufacturing development and scale-up, increased schedule to reflect demonstrated development timelines, added costs to capture mass contingencies, increased costs, and time to reflect required launch vehicle capacity and availability, increased costs and schedule to capture historic execution and learning curves associated with specific technologies, etc. Once overall costs and schedules were estimated, probabilistic assessments of cost probability and schedule probability were calculated and provided to the Program Panels using classic S-curves comparing project estimates to 70th percentile probabilities.
From page 544...
... , where  TechFOM = Technology Risk FOM  Rhigh, Rmedium-high, Rmedium, Rmedium-low, and Rlow = Technology risk rating assigned by Aerospace = Number of major program risks in this risk category × Risk multiple, where -- High risk multiple = 5 -- Medium-high risk multiple = 4 -- Medium risk multiple = 3 -- Medium-low risk multiple = 2 -- Low risk multiple = 1  TRL3, TRL4, TRL5, and TRL6 = number of technology categories identified by the project at these TRL levels × TRL risk multiplier, where -- TRL 3 multiplier = 9 -- TRL 4 multiplier = 3 -- TRL 5 multiplier = 2 -- TRL 6 multiplier = 1  TRL3time, TRL4time, and TRL5time = total length of time, in years as defined by the projects for a technology to mature to the next level. As an example, if a project defined two major development areas, one currently at TRL 6 and rated a medium risk by Aerospace Corporation, and the other at TRL 3 and rated a medium-low risk by Aerospace Corporation, but requiring 2 years each to reach TRL 4, TRL 5, and TRL6, the project TechFOM = 61.

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