Date of Award

Summer 2012

Access Restriction

Campus Access only research projects

Degree Name

Master of Science


Systems Engineering

School or College

Seaver College of Science and Engineering

First Advisor

Frederick Brown


At the Boeing Satellite Development Center, all programs must follow the same test flow through the factory. First the units are built, tested, and delivered for sub system level integration. There are units built for the bus module and units built for the payload module. Both sub systems are built in different locations and have their own core teams. Once the sub systems are properly integrated, they will then travel to the next test phase of the factory which is known as Integrated Vehicle Testing (IVT). During IVT, both the bus and payload modules are integrated to make one system. This system will travel through the factory and will be tested to make sure that all requirements are met. Once all requirements are validated and verified, the spacecraft is now ready for launch and delivery to the customer.

There are hundreds of tests that need to take place throughout the spacecrafts life in the factory. The purpose of these tests is to make sure that a requirement from the customer is met one way or another. Thousands of man hours are budgeted for testing the satellite during its journey through the factory. At an average engineering cost of $200 per hour, this total dollar value for requirements validation and verification can get very expensive. One of the tests in particular is called "Harness Shakedown."

This test is conducted to make sure that all the harness wiring in the bus module is wired correctly per the released wire list. These wires can be used for telemetry and control, power to units, signal wires, etc. The way that the test is currently conducted is all done manually using break out boxes, break out cables, digital volt meters, and power supplies. This is an inefficient way of doing the test. This test can be leaned out using systems engineering practices and finding better ways for doing this test to bring value to the customer. The most expensive cost to a program is engineering labor.

Systems engineering can help in this test by using the systems engineering process milstd- 499B. This will be used to ensure that the requirements are good and can be fulfilled through the new way of testing. Lean systems engineering will play a large role in finding waste in the test and how to eliminate this non-value added waste. Understanding risk that can occur and ways to manage that risk, is key when fulfilling these requirements. Performing trade studies on how to do this test will help in making the proper engineering decision for the best way of doing the test while again, focusing on added value to the program.

ShaneGoodall_Systems_Presentation_2012.pdf (10798 kB)
Oral Presentation