Market Research | Complex Systems Assessment
Market Research

Singapore Technologies Kinetics 40mm Air Bursting Munition System (ABMS) kit mounted on a Super Lightweight Automatic Grenade Launcher (SL-AGL) (image courtesy Army Technology -

Aerospace Concepts undertakes market research for both acquirers and sellers of complex technical systems using a structured approach to needs determination, buyer and seller identification, and information analysis. Our recent work in this field includes:

  • Comparison of Australian Army artillery weapons against potential acquisition candidates
  • Assessment of artillery command and control computer systems,
  • Assessment of infantry direct-fire support weapons, and
  • Identification of homeland security market opportunities.
Complex Systems Assessment

Querying of detailed system data facilitates familiarisation with potential solutions

Complex systems are usually comprised of sub-systems that are themselves complex systems. These sub-systems are often evaluated separately; however, some evaluations require a more holistic approach that recognises an integrated system of systems.

The success of Aerospace Concepts' market analysis work has recently led us to develop a specialist tool, the Systems Capability Assessment Model (Systems CAM), to support holistic assessment of any complex system.

This tool can be used throughout the system lifecycle, the most obvious event being for selection of a system solution for acquisition during a tender evaluation process or equivalent.

But holistic evaluation is also useful earlier in the lifecycle, particularly for:

  • Identifying the relative improvement in capability available thorough the application of new technologies;
  • Conducting trade studies to assist in defining solution concepts; and
  • Evaluating the capabilities of likely candidate systems.
Weighting to recognise the relative importance of requirements

And holistic evaluation can also be used during the in-service phase to:

  • Monitor the capability of the system against evolving operational needs, and
  • Help determine the best allocation of support resources for capability maintenance and improvement.

Through collaboration with our clients, we build a holistic model of an actual or desired capability, including performance needs for key attributes, then populate the model with candidate system data. Weightings are used to bias the importance of cetain capability attributes.

The Systems CAM is comprised of four discrete functional components, these being:

  • Capability models of one or more complex system types;
  • Capability-related and descriptive data for one or more systems of each type modelled;
  • An ad hoc query mechanism for the system data and comparison of data amongst systems of the same type; and
  • A Mechanism for calculating of a dimensionless figure-of-merit for each system against defined capability needs and relative importance weightings drawn from operational scenarios.
System-level figure-of-merit allows direct comparison of competing systems

Careful use of the weighting concept permits exploration of multiple operational scenarios and 'drilling down' to specialist functions. This makes the figure-of-merit approach used by the Systems CAM well-suited to supporting concept definition and specification development activities.