Systems Engineering (SE)

Integrating Life-Cycle Planning Considerations into Design through the Innovation Based Design Process

by Michael Thurston; Michael Haselkorn; Nabil Nasr


Military ground vehicles often have service lives that exceed their original design targets. For this reason, these vehicles typically require technology upgrades during their useful life. When considering design trade-offs, both mature as well as less mature or developing technologies need to be considered against the anticipated service life for the vehicle. Early adoption of technologies that are not sufficiently mature can result in operational reliability and availability issues and increased sustainment costs. However, failure to anticipate technology refresh requirements during the original design phase may result in a platform that cannot be cost effectively upgraded as technology or functional requirements change, limiting the functionality and utility. This paper presents an Innovation Based Design (IBD) process as part of a systems engineering approach that facilitates technology refresh cycles via platform remanufacturing throughout the life of the platform. The IBD process is demonstrated for a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) for ground vehicles.