TEAMS is a decision support tool that uses simulation to help NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) model various activities associated with spaceport project operations, improving decision making in areas like space vehicle mix impact, launch rates, asset utilization, and spaceport life cycle costs.
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) was experiencing problems from the numerous configurations and payload possibilities with their planned spaceport, and they lacked a tool to assist in the modeling and analysis of spaceport decisions. Not to mention, spaceport management was also in need of a method for capturing knowledge pertaining to spaceport operations. This dilemma resulted in an initiative entitled Toolkit for Enabling Adaptive Modeling and Simulation (TEAMS™), and a solution was consequently developed with KBSI’s expertise in methods and project management.
Because of the increasing complexity of systems, the use of simulation has become a necessary decision-support tool. Simulation allows an organization to experiment with real world systems that would otherwise be nearly impossible or too costly otherwise. It is often the only scientific methodology available for the analysis of complex systems such as those associated with the spaceport.
The early phase of the TEAMS™ technology initiative resulted in the development of a prototype tool that enabled KSC to model and simulate various activities associated with the spaceport project operations, thereby improving the decision making process. KSC can now quickly simulate a large number of spaceport configurations providing the best and safest solutions. In addition, it provided spaceport management decision support in the areas of space vehicle mix impact, launch rates, asset utilization, and spaceport life cycle costs.
The TEAMS™ technology provided immediate benefits to KSC by enabling the implementation of the NASA Integrated Space Transportation Plan (ISTP) investment strategy. Immediate benefits are likely to accrue on the ongoing NASA Space Launch Initiative (SLI) and the Space Shuttle upgrade initiative. Assuming a 5% savings based on enhanced operations modeling and simulation, NASA can expect to see substantial savings potential in the SLI investment alone. The potential savings in space transportation operations and maintenance costs resulting from superior system designs will be significantly higher.
Because of the success realized from the first phase of the initiative, KBSI continued to work with KSC again in Phase II, with an emphasis on enhancing and hardening the Phase I architecture, building two focused NASA applications, and commercializing the TEAMS™ software by integrating it with KBSI’s PROSIM® and AIØ WIN® modeling tools.
As a result of the successful technology at KSC, this could lead to a NASA-wide adoption of the TEAMS™ framework and tools. The application of the TEAMS™ technology to the design of NASA’s spaceports will lead to the rapid deployment of cost-effective and high-performance spaceports. This will be enabled through the exploration of multiple spaceport design options through rapid operations analyses. The TEAMS™ framework will allow for effective verification/validation of a large number of spaceport operations process configurations early in the system development life cycle. This will result in significantly reduced risks and reduced spaceport life-cycle costs.