A methodology to manage system-level uncertainty during conceptual design

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Current design decisions must be made while considering uncertainty in both models of the design and inputs to the design. In most cases, high fidelity models are used with the assumption that the resulting model uncertainties are insignificant to the decision making process. This paper presents a methodology for managing uncertainty during system-level conceptual design of complex multidisciplinary systems. This methodology is based upon quantifying the information available in a set of observations of computationally expensive subsystem models with more computationally efficient kriging models. By using kriging models, the computational expense of a Monte Carlo simulation to assess the impact of the sources of uncertainty on system-level performance parameters becomes tractable. The use of a kriging model as an approximation to an original computer model introduces model uncertainty, which is included as part of the methodology. The methodology is demonstrated as a decision-making tool for the design of a satellite system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)959-968
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Mechanical Design
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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