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978-3-8439-4051-1, Reihe Raumfahrt
University Small Satellite Projects – An Exploratory Study on Project Characteristics and Support
340 Seiten, Dissertation Universität Stuttgart (2018), Softcover, A5
To support academia in successfully executing university small satellite projects (USSPs), this study investigates their characteristics and means of support. It consists of three phases.
In the first phase, a literature research is carried out in the four fields of project management, systems engineering, project process models and learning. Processes from project management and systems engineering are identified that are vital for the success of a complex technical project. The overview on process models highlights that process models should be applied based on the nature of a specific project. Finally, the literature research on learning provides insights on learning theories, root causes that inhibit learning and a theory for supporting learning.
The second phase consists of an analysis of USSP stakeholders, a review of the main USSP objectives, an analysis of USSP time performance and finally an analysis on major USSP challenges based on the results of an online survey conducted in the frame of this study.
Furthermore, an analysis of the results of an online survey encompassing projects from four continents shows that over 90% of USSPs take longer than originally anticipated with an average schedule overrun of 50%. Moreover, the results show that neither satellite mass nor experience from previous projects significantly influence project duration or on-time performance, resulting in the conclusion that other factors influence USSP time performance. Finally, Phase II elaborates the results of the online survey to identify major challenges of USSPs.
The third phase first elaborates the two defining USSP project characteristics: uncertainty and knowledge. Subsequently, possible USSP project support options are discussed. Because many decisions that directly affect project success are made in early project stages, a framework in support to these is presented. This framework is based on the findings of the first two phases and comprises of three focus areas with their respective objectives of mission definition, system design and project setup. In support of the system design of the satellite, design factor relation maps are introduced that reduce uncertainty and support the knowledge transfer in USSPs. The presented framework is the first holistic approach in support to the inception of small satellite projects at universities.