The Range Integrated Product Team (IPT) consisted of membership from thirty stakeholder organizations in the Range operations processes: nineteen industry and eleven government organizations. This report reflects the synergy of such an enterprise. It would not have been possible without the open and cooperative participation of all, each from a different perspective but all with a common focus achieving a greater Range capacity and efficiency with the objective of making the nation's spaceports the world's best.
This report would not have been possible without the superb support of a few very good people. Bill McMurry of Lockheed Martin did an outstanding job of benchmarking the United States spaceports against their foreign competitors. His sub-IPT used a policy of non-attribution to gain candid comments. Rich Niederhauser of Boeing worked the problem of defining issues arising from the burgeoning entry of commercial space launch into what had been a fraternity of Department of Defense (DoD), National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) space launch customers. The issues centered on a role reversal where the space launch supplier became the customer. Colonel Jeff Norton of the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) examined the time phasing and prioritization of Range modernization projects and underpinning operational requirements defining an architecture, which included the direct inputs of the other sub-IPTs. He was ably assisted by Colonel Barry Morgan, Director of the Range Standardization and Automation (RSA) program. Significant effort was placed on capturing the Range needs of the now emerging commercial launch market -- as well as ensuring the validity of current Range requirements. Colonel Phil Benjamin of the 45th Space Wing (SW) led the Range Capacity sub-IPT. This sub-IPT focused on developing an empirical model that would be an accepted tool for Range capacity and turn-around issues. Mike Spence of the Aerospace Corporation was invaluable in examining the capacity model developed by Captain Darren Buck and making recommendations to give it credibility. He also stepped into the breach at the Final Review to the Principals and made the necessary revisions to the Range Capacity report. Finally, he served as a third party editor of this report making valuable and much appreciated contributions. Colonel Ken Cinal of the 30th Space Wing examined current policies for the use of limited government resources and for wing scheduling. Lieutenant Colonel Rich Jackson and Major Marc DiCocco of SMC, Captains Darren Buck and Chris Moss of the 45 SW, and Major Ed Crawford, Jim Pope and Rick Bailey of SMC Det 8 were the mainstays of the Architecture and Capacity sub-IPTs. Captain Tim Slauenwhite of Air Force Space Command and Phil Hays of Sigmatech did a superb job of assembling, rewriting, editing and compiling this report. Overall, it was a remarkable team effort.
The original tasking was to complete this report by 1 September 1998. However due to the Titan IV and Delta III launch accidents the report date was delayed in order to produce a quality product.
A special thank you to all that contributed. If there is anything to say about this report that is good, these are the people who deserve the credit. If there is anything to say about this report that is not good, then the responsibility falls on the Chairman.
In February 1998, General Howell M. Estes, Commander, Air Force Space Command (AFSPC), directed Major General Robert C. Hinson to form a Range IPT to resolve Eastern Range (ER) and Western Range (WR) operational issues raised at the December 1997 Commercial Space Industry Leaders Conference. Issues involved Range capacities and turn-around times, scheduling systems, modernization programs, government/commercial interfaces and long-range plans for the Ranges. The ER is under more stress due to the burgeoning commercial space launch traffic, compounded by antiquated communications and telemetry complexes.
The Range IPT was an integrated effort involving spacecraft builders, launch vehicle builders, NASA, SMC, Headquarters AFSPC, the U.S. Navy's Naval Ordnance Test Unit, Florida and California Spaceport organizations, the 45 SW and the 30 SW.
The following is a brief synopsis of the major findings/conclusions:
Today's guidelines for billing commercial customers in effect provide a subsidy. The major launch providers contend that a continuing subsidy is essential to global competitiveness and maintaining market share.
In the commercial environment it is important to define what the Space Wing Commander is not responsible for in order to define the launch provider's responsibilities/accountabilities.
Conclusions stressed the importance of Range Modernization to increase Range reliability and capacity and reduce Range operating costs; identified management issues related to the influx of commercial traffic; identified emerging requirements, cost and schedule issues related to the time phasing of programs, facilities and requirement.
A major conclusion of the Range IPT was that, pending the full implementation of Range Modernization, forecasted launch schedule requirements could be met with a $4.5 million dollar annual investment for a reconfiguration crew. This action would also cut the two-day turn around at the ER in half. Commercial companies may be willing to provide additional funding to pay for increased capacity, if a method can be found to accept it in a timely way.
Another major conclusion is that many Range/user interface problems could be resolved if the Range was operated like a business with better use of commercial practices and improved customer focus and responsiveness. Directly related to this was the conclusion that the commercial launch community was willing and able to "pay their way" in future Range investments. An enduring commercial Range financing group was spawned by this conclusion.
Finally, there is a strong perception that major cost reductions could be achieved if Range Safety technical requirements could be revised without lowering safety standards. Other existing requirements could also yield cost reductions or re-investment opportunities through executive review and re-validation.
A ten-year National Perspective reflected the objectives of continued Air Force (AF) management. These include maximizing use of a contractor work force, globally competitive spaceports, Ranges operated like a business, and the eventual divorcing of space launch from the Ranges through the development and use of autonomous flight termination systems.
Recommendations were made for implementation in the areas of Range Capacity, AF/Commercial Interfaces, Public Safety and Range Modernization.
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In February 1998, General Howell M. Estes, Commander, Air Force Space Command (AFSPC), directed his Director of Operations, Major General Robert C. Hinson, form a Range IPT to resolve Eastern Range (ER) and Western Range (WR) operational issues raised at the December 1997 Commercial Space Industry Leaders Conference. The issues were related to range capacity and flexibility, triggered by the forecasted growth in commercial space launches.
The Range IPT was a team effort involving representatives from space launch companies, satellite companies, Range contractors, NASA, Florida and California state officials, The Aerospace Corporation, AFSPC and Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC). Lieutenant General Richard C. Henry, USAF (Retired) chaired the IPT.
Recommend viable alternatives to improve the Range operations processes to the Director of Operations, Headquarters (HQ) AFSPC and the Commercial Space Industry Leaders Conference. Lieutenant General Lance W. Lord, Vice Commander, AFSPC identified the following tasks for the Range IPT in his letter dated 13 April 1998:
The Range IPT was organized into five sub-IPTs under the Range IPT Chairman to meet the objectives established by HQ AFSPC (Figure 1) with a principal advisory board. The Range IPT principal advisory board members were senior executives from government and industry whose purpose was to monitor and provide advice to the sub-IPTs. The Lessons Learned from Foreign Range Operations sub-IPT examined commercial operations at the Ranges to determine whether we can take advantage of their experience to improve our operations. Mr. William McMurry of Lockheed Martin International Launch Services who has a good working contact with many satellite manufacturing companies as well as people with first hand experience in the use of foreign ranges agreed to chair this sub-IPT. The ER and WR have a reputation of inflexibility in operations, non-responsiveness to commercial customer needs and an attitude of tolerance rather than enthusiasm. The Customer Friendliness sub-IPT, headed by Mr. Richard Niederhauser, Boeing Site Manager at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), focused on these problems and sought solutions. Col Kenneth Cinal, Commander of the 30th Operations Group, chaired the Resource Use Policy sub-IPT examining AF policies concerning the use of limited Range assets and options that might improve Range efficiency. The Range Capacity sub-IPT investigated potential improvements in annual capacity and turn-around. Col. Philip Benjamin, Commander of the 45th Operations Group and Mr. Michael Spence, Principal Director of the Aerospace Eastern Range Directorate, teamed to head this sub-IPT. Colonel Jeff Norton, Director of Launch Programs, Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) and Colonel Barry Morgan, Director Satellite and Launch Control Systems, SMC teamed to head up the Range Architecture sub-IPT. To examine the time phasing of Range modernization and other improvements to assure that the phase in of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV), Range Standardization and Automation (RSA) and other Improvement and Modernization (I&M) projects are properly correlated and centrally managed.
2.2 Range IPT Principals
The following senior executives represented government and industry stakeholders in the Range operations processes:
2.3 Sub-IPT Membership
The Range sub-IPTs consisted of the following stakeholders in the Range operations processes:
2.3.1. Industry Membership
2.3.2. Civil Membership
2.3.3. Department of Defense (DoD) Membership
The principle of an integrated team involving all interested parties was followed throughout the IPT effort. The key to the success of the IPT was open communications and teamwork. There were many different agendas and perspectives but the common objective was the attainment of United States spaceport capabilities that set the world standard.
The future was divided into three epochs. The first was 1998 through 2002 (near-term). The second was 2003 through 2007 (mid-term), and the third was 2008 and beyond (far-term).
Originally, the Range IPT was to examine only the first epoch. This was changed to examine a ten-year period. A second change was to provide a ten-year national perspective that included more than technical considerations.
Each Sub-IPT included appropriate industry and government representatives (with the exception of the Lessons Learned from Foreign Ranges IPT). The Sub-IPTs primarily met on a weekly basis via teleconference with face-to-face meetings as necessary.
2.4.1 Key Events
The following are key events in forming and integrating the Range IPT effort:
The following is the situation statement extracted from the HQ AFSPC Range IPT charter:
The ER at Cape Canaveral Air Station (CCAS), Florida and the WR at VAFB, California evolved during the 50s and 60s. Range equipment and capability were installed by successive programs as the need arose. Today, the Ranges are a collection of unique systems that are aging and cost over $400 million a year to operate and sustain. There are more than 25,000 obsolete components still being used on our spacelift ranges.
In 1993, the RSA program was started to modernize our spacelift ranges, reduce their maintenance costs and improve their functionality. When completed, RSA will improve Range capacity by reducing range turn-around to four hours from the current 24-48 hours and by providing dual mission capabilities. In addition, RSA will standardize ER and WR procedures, equipment and logistics, increase our reliability and reduce our operations and maintenance costs by at least 20%.
Originally scheduled for completion in 2003, budget cuts have delayed program completion until 2007. Therefore, it is projected that for approximately five years operational demand will be exceed Range capacity, effectively limiting the nation's capability to successfully compete in the international space market.
The challenge is to find short-term solutions to this problem that are viable within manpower, fiscal and system constraints.
The ER was activated in the early fifties for the development testing of long-range guided missiles such as the SNARK, NAVAHO and MATADOR. The Range received a major upgrade for the development testing of the Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) and Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) programs during the sixties. The ER has a development-testing heritage reflected by extensive telemetry and radar coverage.
The WR was conceived in 1956 as an operational testing range, to be used by Strategic Air Command (SAC) as a measure of its war planning effectiveness. ICBMs were to be launched west into the Kwajalein Islands with emphasis on measuring launch and flight reliability and accuracy. The WR launch head was also the only place in the nation that permitted launch of spacecraft into polar orbit, launching to the south. This capability was soon used by the AF Discoverer program and quickly followed by National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) programs. The repetitive NRO launches were probably closer to an operational space launch capability than any others to this day. WR space launch is dependent on the tracking and command support provided by the Naval Air Warfare Center at Point Mugu, California.
In summary, the heritage at the ER was generally development oriented while the WR heritage had more of an operational flavor. The WR received priority support whenever needed to support the NRO programs. As long as the ER could support the DoD test programs, budgets to improve the Range were generally the victim of reprogramming.
In 1953, an AF study showed that it was less expensive to man the ER with a civilian contractor work force. Since that time, both Ranges have been manned by contractor work forces.
Both Ranges were identified as National Ranges in 1960 and a National Range Division was activated to standardize the two Ranges, but was de-activated six years later. The Ranges are still National Ranges and are a part of the DoD Major Range and Test Facility Base (MRTFB) structure. While space launch dominates activities at both Ranges, the infrastructure to support test programs has been preserved.
When SAC took over VAFB in the early sixties, the WR remained with Air Force Systems Command (AFSC) and Range support was provided to SAC operational test launches as a service.
As the result of the relatively high launch failure rates during developmental tests at the ER, the Safety Office developed a strong capability to fulfill its charge of protecting the general public. The WR Safety Office was patterned after the ER but had more of an operational perspective.
When AFSPC assumed control of the two Ranges in 1990, they had been acquisition command assets for almost forty years. The transition to an operational command and the normal operating/sustainment relationships has been difficult. For example, in AFSC, there was a Range Commander who was responsible and accountable for everything that affected the Range. The operating command structure with its separation of operations and maintenance elevated total Range responsibility to the Wing Commander, at least one level higher than in past organizations.
The WR is geographically well suited (Figure 2) to support diverse missions. It supports space launch to the south, ICBM launch to the west and aeronautical tests along the west coast of the U.S. The only test program currently at the ER (Figure 3) is SLBM operational testing conducted by the U.S. Navy.
4.2.1 Commercial Space Launch Act (CSLA)
Congress passed the CSLA in 1984 as a way to encourage development of a strong commercial space launch capability. Department of Defense Directive (DODD) 3230.3, published on 14 October 1986, directed that the provision of equipment and services would be on a non-interference basis using excess capacity. The implication was that DoD launches would always enjoy a priority over commercial launches. In the time frame that this directive was written, this was probably a valid consideration. An agreed definition of excess capacity was never developed. Charges to the commercial users for the use of DoD facilities and the Ranges were far less than the pro-rated cost. These features have combined to create an attitude of tolerance for commercial activities within the AF rather than full support. The growth of commercial space launch has well exceeded expectations to the point that the full capacity of the Ranges is being challenged. The AF supporting organizations are being fully challenged because they have not been funded, manned nor equipped to operate the Ranges at maximum capacity. This has added concern within the AF launch base management as to whether they are still in compliance with the provisions of the CSLA.
4.2.2 X-33 Development Test
The states of California and Florida have entered the competition for the development test of the X-33 and later, the X-34 by responding to Lockheed Martin's invitation for bid. The reward to the winner is more jobs and a brighter economic future. It is assumed that at least one of the Ranges will be used to support X-33/X-34 development and testing.
4.2.3 Off-Shore Competition
Both states are sensitive to the global competition for market share in space launch. One concern expressed by the space launch industry is the potential for a declining market share of space launch if the two National Ranges are not capable of providing cost effective and efficient support (i.e. capacity).
There has been some discussion about changing ownership of the Ranges. AFSPC policy, as stated by the Commander in June of 1998, is that the AF has an obligation to retain ownership at least until the two Ranges are modernized.
The cost of operating the ER approaches $500 million exclusive of military pay. Of this amount, 16 percent is reimburseable (Figure 4). Clearly, the spaceport/range complex is not operated like a business. If we add the launch base services, launch operations and support, range technical services, and the visual information and technology contract values ($211 million) for FY 98, they approximate one half of the total cost of operating the spaceport and range. The remainder can be described as the cost of infrastructure. With the objective of not impacting the mission, it would appear that the better return on investment is through the reduction of infrastructure or government work force (e.g.) government civilian and uniformed pay and the overhead that supports this kind of a work force. Carried to the final conclusion, a minimal government work force, totally located at CCAS would provide the most cost reduction at least risk to the mission. This is not meant to imply that the contract manning is optimum, but it must be left to contract management to determine the contract structure for least cost and best performance. It is also clear that the amount reimbursed to AFSPC is not proportionate to the level of support provided (Figure 5). In comparison, the cost of operating and maintaining VAFB and the WR is approximately $256 million (Figure 6).
Again, it is clear that the amount reimbursed to AFSPC is not proportionate to the level of support provided (Figure 7).
5.0 PARALLEL ACTIVITIES
5.1 Range Modernization
RSA is intended to increase the reliability, cost effectiveness and capacity of the two Ranges through a modernization program extending through 2007. The original program called for completion in 2003 but budget cuts and reprogramming of funds have extended it to 2007 (Figure 8). This is a difficult program to implement because the equipment must be installed and people trained with minimum interruption of launch schedules. Currently, the manpower to install and test this equipment off-prime shift is not funded, and launch schedules are being impacted today. The Range Architecture sub-IPT has evaluated the time phasing of EELV onset, Titan, Atlas and Delta phase down, launch facility construction, mission requirements, and RSA improvements. This evaluation will be reported in the sub-IPT report with findings. If the commercial launch market expands as projected, the modernization program will be essential to the preservation and growth of space launch market share. In the opinion of the Range IPT, this program requires strong top down leadership within AFMC and AFSPC to stay on course, given that requirements, cost and schedule are and will continue to be pressing issues. In addition, reactive I&M programs should be replaced with a normalized, predictive sustainment program managed by a single range modernization integrator.
5.2 Oversight to Insight
The significance of this AFSPC initiative is a decreasing level of AF presence in the launch operations areas. Since space launch is no longer a core competency of AFSPC, it is assumed that eventually, all Space Launch Squadrons will be deactivated. In order to preclude confusion, it is important that, as the Squadrons are drawn down, their responsibilities be drawn down also. Otherwise reduced personnel with the same responsibilities will serve as a drag on contractor space launch preparations.
5.3 Purchase of Satellites/Services on Orbit
The trend towards this strategy of acquiring DoD operational capabilities means a larger reliance on commercial space launch and highlights the importance of a robust commercial space launch capability to the DoD.
5.4 AF - NASA Partnerships
Historically, NASA and the AF have operated separately in response to the national policy of keeping the peaceful applications of space distinct from the military applications. The shortage of resources has been a forcing function for the return to the kind of partnering that took place during the Mercury and Gemini programs. One example of this is the recent Joint Base Operations and Support Contract (JBOSC) which provides base support for Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and CCAS under a single contract (Figure 9). Other opportunities will surely develop.
6.0 SUB-IPT REPORTS
6.1 Lessons Learned from Foreign Ranges
The team was comprised of global commercial launch service customers (buyers of launch services) that have exposure to the ranges surveyed. Customers were picked because they had experience at multiple ranges and could "normalize" their input for comparisons within their own field of experience. The "ideal member" would have experience in multiple launch campaigns at all four primary sites (CCAS, Kourou, Baikonur, Xichang), however these individuals are few and far between. Therefore, in an attempt to touch upon as much experience as possible, the following companies were surveyed: Echostar (via a technical support contractor), Eutelsat, Hughes, Intelsat, Loral and Motorola. In addition, internal corporation contacts that had first hand experience at any of these ranges were also surveyed. The result was that all ranges received comparative input, across a broad cross section of experience. No one input was able to address all four ranges at once; but trends emerged which led to the findings.
The sub-IPT was chartered to determine value added functions or processes that can be incorporated from other Space Launch Ranges and identify non-value added functions that can be eliminated. Specific tasks include:
A worldwide survey of all known ranges available for orbital launches was conducted. After considering time for study, and the market composition, a decision was made to constrain the team's scope to foreign ranges that launched medium to heavy class payloads. These are: Centre Spatial Guyanis (Kourou), the Baikonur Cosmodrome, and the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. The team members completed surveys comparing these sites to CCAS services available, approaches to safety, and range process and policy differences. Price and cost were not addressed because of their proprietary nature. The surveys were conducted through personal interviews to a set of common informational objectives. The survey data was reviewed to determine if any trends emerged which might lead to conclusions, in the comparative sense. The team also determined that comparative data could not be gathered for VAFB due to the low number of commercial users compared to CCAS. Therefore, CCAS was the primary consideration for comparison and VAFB was addressed where possible.
A survey of global launch sites was conducted in order to determine how many opportunities existed for comparing CCAS to a foreign range. The survey resulted in a list of seventeen international sites capable of orbital launches. These were not necessarily in operation, but either had recently conducted launch operations or were scheduled to begin them soon. These sites are located in Australia, Brazil, Canada, the People's Republic of China (PRC), the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS - former USSR), France, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Norway, South Africa, and Sweden. The availability of associated data was a key factor in determining which Ranges would be compared to CCAS. Based on this factor the comparison was constrained to the three active sites that currently launch "medium (e.g. Atlas I) to heavy (e.g. Titan IV)" commercial payloads:
The sub-IPT conducted an initial survey of individuals with direct foreign range experience in order to construct a usable data collection format and validate the data to be collected. This initial survey confirmed that a verbal survey to be conducted by the sub-IPT would result in a useful set of comparative data between the three identified foreign ranges and CCAS. In addition, the initial survey yielded the following results:
A formal, process-based survey was conducted with the intent to canvas as many different companies and individuals as possible with the expectation that trends would emerge from such a broad based field that could be assumed to have basis in fact, not bias or unfounded perceptions. Launch service providers were eliminated from participation because they are cooperatively or professionally associated with specific ranges and unbiased comparison was not possible. Therefore the team focused on the payload community, the ultimate customer of the launch service and subsequently the ranges. The payload community consists of spacecraft manufacturers (e.g. Hughes Space and Communications), consortiums organized to use space-based products as a business base (e.g. Intelsat), and entrepreneurs (e.g. Charles Ergen, CEO of Echostar).
Contacts within the payload community were established to secure commitments to participate in the formal survey. The principle of "non-attribution" was invoked to create an open and free environment to air opinions concerning sensitive data.
18.104.22.168 VAFB Comments. Comparison of data gathered for VAFB is not possible due to the low number of commercial users and the desire to maintain the "non-attribution" principle. However, a Florida Space Roundtable Survey was reviewed that addressed several issues common to the formal survey. The Florida survey noted the heavier workload and different payload types at CCAS did affect some findings in the survey. However, it concluded that VAFB was highly rated in the following areas: customer service, technical support services, safety, and launch scheduling; all of which are significant to the team's comparison with foreign ranges.
22.214.171.124 Kourou Comparison to CCAS. The participants were surveyed regarding services available, approaches to safety, and range process and policy differences between Kourou and CCAS.
Services Available. Kourou was designed and built as a complex to service and launch commercial payloads to space. CCAS was designed to accommodate Test and Evaluation (T&E) missions and has evolved to become a launch facility for commercial payloads, working within the existing infrastructure. At CCAS, as opposed to Kourou, commercial payload customers are in competition with other range users for range resources. Therefore, Kourou has the reputation as the newest international range, with an entire work force dedicated and focused on the launch at hand. In addition, Kourou has a dedicated, single point of contact that handles all customer issues, from accommodations to range scheduling. There is almost no interference due to other launches. CCAS is required to accommodate several customers, and attempts to launch all missions within their customers' (commercial and government) time constraints. Customers prefer the Kourou approaches.
Approaches to Safety. The Kourou range safety program is based on ER and WR safety programs, but is much simpler from a payload customer's point of view. Examples include: CCAS first article clearance process, CCAS safety requirements often change or are interpreted differently, and "proof positive" evidence of compliance required at CCAS as opposed to analysis by the spacecraft manufacturer. Customers expressed frustration at the fact they design and test spacecraft for safe operations and are required to "do it all over again" to pass the CCAS criteria. However at Kourou, the inherent requirement for safe spacecraft operations carries significantly more credibility. For launch vehicle flight safety, Kourou requires command destruct capability for approximately 750 nautical miles down range with reliance thereafter on self-destruct capability for inadvertent stage separation. At CCAS, command capability must be dual redundant from liftoff until at least 1500 nautical miles down range.
Process and Policy Differences. At CCAS, the launch service provider is the primary, and usually exclusive, interface between payload customers and the range. However, the launch service providers must interface with multiple agencies at CCAS with different and sometimes conflicting agendas. This adds confusion and delays to the launch process. At Kourou, there is one entity that oversees all agencies and aligns agendas to one common purpose -- the successful launch of the mission at hand.
126.96.36.199 Baikonur Comparison to CCAS. The participants were surveyed regarding services available, approaches to safety, and range process and policy differences between Baikonur and CCAS.
Services Available. Baikonur is an old facility, designed to launch ICBMs and some military payloads. It has cleanliness problems and personal services and security are by far the worst of all ranges considered. Baikonur does provide a shorter turn-around between launches, and little conflict with federal launches has been known to occur. Facilities are rapidly being upgraded, but Baikonur is still considered the least preferred launch site.
Approaches to Safety. The spacecraft safety program is extremely simple and less restrictive than CCAS. Most payload safety issues are left to the spacecraft manufacturer with minimal documentation required. The spacecraft manufacturer guarantees the safe operation of the spacecraft during flight. Command destruct is not required for the launch vehicle.
Process and Policy Differences. Range operations at Baikonur are extremely "veiled", with little insight into launch operations provided to payload customers. Access to the range is extremely confined when compared to CCAS. Scheduling flexibility is more apparent than at CCAS.
188.8.131.52 Xichang Comparison to CCAS. The participants were surveyed regarding services available, approaches to safety, and range process and policy differences between Xichang and CCAS.
Services available. Xichang is described as a somewhat "westernized" facility; but far below the quality of CCAS. The launch complexes are not well maintained. However, the work force is dedicated to the launch at hand, with the same predictable comments from customers about this attribute.
Approaches to Safety. The launch vehicle approach appears to be completely different from western nations; and specific details are difficult to obtain. Spacecraft manufacturers feel as though they are completely "on their own" and accountable for all aspects of safety. This contrasts sharply with the CCAS approach.
Process and Policy Differences. Personnel safety and security lacks control, resulting in customers being required to hire guards for hardware. Scheduling, compared to CCAS is again considered much more flexible due to the "one customer at a time" concept.
When comparing the results of the formal survey, there are four principle trends that emerge as differences between foreign launch ranges and CCAS.
CCAS is a Great Facility. CCAS is a great facility with a professional staff dedicated to safe and successful launches within imposed constraints. All respondents agreed that the AF and associated companies and agencies are working hard to become a "better provider."
Agencies Involved. Customers perceive that although their only interface with CCAS is usually the launch vehicle contractor, there are many government agencies that have different and sometimes conflicting requirements that must be satisfied to obtain permission to launch.
Scheduling at CCAS. CCAS scheduling is perceived as inflexible. While customers understand they are competing with other range users for scarce launch support resources, this still does not diminish the frustration that accompanies a request for a near term change and the conflicts with those other users. Many commented that when asking for a change, the CCAS answer was an automatic "no." At all foreign ranges, these customers are made to feel like the principal focus of the work force, compared to the "one of many" environment at CCAS.
Safety is Unnecessarily Demanding. At some foreign ranges there are virtually no spacecraft safety requirements compared to CCAS. Application of CCAS spacecraft safety requirements depends on interpretation versus criteria.
6.1.5 Summary. There are many explanations and sound reasons why these comparative differences result when payload customers are asked to identify problem areas. Some differences reside in sound application of policy driven by today's criteria. Some differences also reside in the legacy of policies that were sound many years ago, and have had no reason to change. The problem areas that have emerged from this sub-IPT effort are in Range Safety and scheduling. Foreign ranges accommodate and accomplish safe commercial payload launches without the Range Safety and scheduling difficulties of CCAS. A domestic manufacturer of international payloads provided the following summary comment, "I believe that CCAS provides a good launch service; but as an American, (I ask) why not the world class example?" If we are the technical leaders of the world and true innovators, then these functions and perceptions can be improved or eliminated through the application of technology and innovation.
6.2 Customer Friendliness
The Range User Friendliness Team members were selected on the recommendation of the Range IPT principal members. The Team consisted of members from the AF, Range Users and Launch Service Customers.
The Range User Friendliness IPT was chartered to determine launch customer, range customer and range operator perspectives on "Range User Friendliness" and offer recommendations. Specific tasks include:
The team met weekly over the 1998 summer to deliberate on methodology, charter, observations, and conclusions. The meetings were weekly teleconferences with frequent one-on-one discussions with team members. Initial discussions attempted to eliminate potential overlap of the team efforts with ongoing similar activities at each Wing and HQ AFSPC. Specific discussions highlighted the contributions and value of the Wing CREATE teams. Accordingly, it was decided to augment CREATE team efforts and to elevate their higher-level issues to headquarters for resolution as a subset of the team efforts.
Weekly teleconferences produced many issues and observations in the area of "user friendliness." These issues were collected, prioritized by the team and generalized to produce a final list of eight major issues. Findings based on these issues were developed and documented. The primary findings are "highlighted" in the sections that follow:
184.108.40.206 Wing Responsiveness
Policies. Current governmental policies do not adequately foster, support, or encourage a strong commercial launch industry. In fact, current policies, which call for the minimizing or elimination of subsidies to the commercial launch industry, are having a detrimental impact on the U.S. participation in this strong, internationally competitive industry. These governmental policies, of course, influence a broad range of processes and procedures in the Pentagon, in AFSPC, and, ultimately, in the wings. These policies create an environment adverse to the commercial launch industry.
Further, there is, at this time, no offsetting policy or communication flowdown to the launch wings from higher headquarters that reflects the importance and the significance of having a strong commercial space program.
Thus, the benefits to the DoD, NASA, and the country of maintaining a strong commercial program are neither communicated to nor well understood at the wing level. While statements by senior leadership about the national importance of a strong commercial launch program mitigate this problem to some extent, this message is not strongly communicated to the wings. Moreover, although various proposals have been advanced over the past few years, currently there is no mention of support to commercial users in the wing mission statements.
Commercial Space Launch Act (CSLA). The CSLA states that "excess capacity" be provided to commercial operators. Such capacity includes services, facilities, range support, launch pads, and support equipment. Until recently, the excess capacity existing at VAFB and the CCAS provided a good foundation for the developing industry. Today, however, the excess capacity at CCAS is constrained due to decreasing budgets. Further, VAFB suffers from the same budgetary pressures, but with somewhat less workload. These recent changes at the two sites have mandated that the fundamental premises of the CSLA are now outdated. New foundations consistent with present resources and the budget environment are needed.
National Ranges. Historically, the U.S. launch ranges were involved in the conduct of cold war-era developmental and operational missile testing. These ranges were an integral part of the "National Range" system, with much of the funding support based in the "Major Range and Test Facility Base" processes. The subsequent transfer of the ranges to the AFSPC created major changes in the approach to conducting range business. Further, the AFSPC operational/organization model, which had proven to be successful in other AFSPC mission areas, was used to organize the Launch and Range Squadrons. These HQ AFSPC directed operational/organizational models have not worked well in the launch and range mission areas. Many rounds of reorganization have ensued and are still being initiated, often with disruptive influences.
The present range function does not fit into any war-fighting mission and has suffered from attempts to "force fit" its function into operational space organizational structures. The once unified ER and WR organizational units no longer exist; their functions are now incorporated into the Operations Groups, Logistics Groups, Support Groups, and AFMC. Additionally, proposals to eliminate the Range Squadrons completely and to further distribute functions to other units are under consideration. Thus, this loss of identity by the ranges has adversely affected support provided to all users and has effectively reduced the continuing involvement of the wings in the National Range structure and in the Major Range and Test Facility Base.
Attitude. As a result of these factors, support for commercial space launch endeavors is not adequately promoted in the wings. In fact, the environment is sometimes negative. Official directions to wing staff agencies emphasize the "non-interference" nature of any support provided to non-DoD programs. As a result, at each wing, and at many working levels, non-DoD customers are not treated with priority when it comes to support for launches. Further, as AF personnel are stretched to meet their own military requirements, an ever-decreasing resource base results and compounds the problem. The resulting, steady demands on the military functions ("Ops tempo") often preclude support to commercial operations. Commercial launch customers perceive this attitude on the part of the wings' personnel as not service-oriented. Consider this quote from a satellite builder:
"At the Cape, commercial missions are treated as secondary missions even though they outnumber the military ones. If we need something done in French Guiana, they ask how can they accommodate us. At the Cape, they first ask why we want whatever it is, then we might get support if they get around to it. The Wing, as a military organization, is not and perhaps never will be a customer service organization."
It would seem that the frequent turnover of wing personnel, particularly at the senior levels where policies and priorities are established, has compounded this problem.
Accounting. Commercial operators depend heavily upon careful accounting practices and predictable pricing. At both wings, the AF acts as a major (and in many cases the only authorized) supplier to commercial operations. The most obvious problems that arise from this fact lie in a lack of cohesive pricing policies as such relate to AF-provided services. Specifically, the wings are hampered in their operations by the Job Order Cost Account System (JOCAS) which does not provide sufficient detail or definition for commercial users. Thus, there is inadequate insight into what the customers are paying for and where they are paying for it. The net effects of these problems demonstrate a lack of sensitivity as to the importance of accurate pricing in the competitive market.
Recently, some progress has been noted in the area of timely billing; however, the billing/cost accounting processes need to move toward modern industry standards. For example, industry personnel need to know specific costs incurred for specific events, so timely transfer of funds to close debt obligations can be arranged. Too, as a significant side benefit, a better accounting process would also enhance the government's ability to provide higher quality cost data. As a positive note, the "fixed price" launch support agreements offered to established launch providers have been beneficial in stabilizing launch costs.
Range Safety Mandatory Instrumentation. There has been much discussion in the past on minimum levels of range safety instrumentation support (radar, command transmitters, telemetry) needed for safe and successful launch operations. Some users want the option to forego (i.e., not to pay for) any redundancy in these assets, while other users desire redundancy of multiple assets to assure "launch-on-time." This area of instrumentation support has recently been addressed by a new WR policy, which identifies revised options for users with fixed price contracts. Presently, these standard instrumentation support packages are available at the ER for users to select from; however, it should be noted that all of these packages involve some redundancy.
Support. Many non-DoD users need support from the wings for basic day-to-day needs. Yet, over the past few years, as a result of declining AF budgets, there has been a drastic reduction in base support capabilities. These developments have significantly increased launch costs to the commercial industry. Moreover, these increases to a significant extent stem from the industry's inability to access services both from AF sources and from AF support contracts such as photographic support, security, laboratories, and maintenance.
Many of these problems appear to stem from a single source. The AF has interpreted the "commercially available" requirements of the CSLA to mean that if equipment or services are available commercially, such equipment or services will not be provided by the AF even though the commercial users are willing to pay all reasonable costs. Even more to the point, recently, at the ER, support contracts were restructured to specifically delete support to commercial efforts. No advance notice of such restructuring was given to operators. The impact of these AF policies has been to force each operator to arrange for separate contracts with suppliers for these necessary services. At joint use facilities like Complex 17, the implementation of this new arrangement could have left commercial users without critical maintenance support, vital launch-day support, and with inadequate routine base support.
The commercial industry remains willing to pay all costs for services for their commercial programs. In many cases, the AF-provided support is less costly, better, and more efficient and such support utilizes government-furnished equipment not available from other suppliers. The effort on the part of the AF to provide options to commercial users remains minor, but crucial. It should be noted that commercial industry still needs the ability to select and use "third party" suppliers when appropriate or desirable. At some dedicated commercial facilities, in particular, utilizing outside contractors has lowered costs.
Wing Schedules. The commercial space launch industry has come to accept the Current Launch Schedule Review Board processes as "value added" to establish priorities and schedule future launches. However, a critical problem continues to exist at the wing level: existing processes, used to schedule, reschedule, or cancel launches with the wing-delegated authority, are too slow. In the past, these actions have taken as long as several weeks to finalize even those routine requests that involve no conflicts. Yet, it is vitally important to launch providers and their satellite customers to receive quick approval of schedules.
In part, the wing processes may be too slow because of disconnects between range capacity and range requirements. Further, the lack of a modern, automated scheduling system also limits a wing's flexibility to meet industry's launch-scheduling requirements. (The Resource Use Policy sub-IPT deals with these scheduling issues.)
Maintenance/Modifications Downtime. Historically, the wings have successfully implemented maintenance and modifications without interfering with launch operations. The procedures necessary to work around the launch opportunities have required dedicated effort on the part of wing personnel. Presently, however, more and more launch opportunities are being thwarted by scheduled range maintenance and modification downtime. This problem is exacerbated because resources to perform maintenance and modifications on off-shifts are no longer available. Moreover, current direction from HQ AFSPC dictates that RSA modifications, which preclude normal operations, will be scheduled along with launches. The effect of these current policies on maintenance and modifications downtimes will be added demands on the range schedule, which may reduce launch opportunities. Such policies could lead to reduced customer satisfaction and some shifting of commercial launch activity overseas.
Capacity and Turn-around Time. The capacity of the ranges to support the projected, increased commercial manifest remains in doubt due to economic and manning limitations. The issues involve ever-increasing launch requirements, ever-decreasing resources, and significant downtimes for substantial range modifications. Further, equipment infrastructure and manpower conditions severely limit range capacity and range turn-around times. (Note: While the RSA program is intended to address the equipment infrastructure limitations, it will not be completed until 2007.) Meanwhile, range manpower is now staffed for basically a single shift operation; and two- and three-day countdowns and "lockouts," reduce launch-day opportunities. The consensus view holds that ranges should be able, as a goal, to support launches or major tests every day. (The Range Capacity sub-IPT dealt extensively with the capacity issue.)
220.127.116.11 Real Estate and Property
Commercial Space Operations Support Agreement (CSOSA). The current environment in the Pentagon surrounding discussions of CSOSAs has created a series of unacceptable processes for the assignment and use of government real estate. The difficulties associated with the CSOSA negotiations (between the Secretary of the AF staff and the launch industry) threatened future investment and commercial activity at the wings. Additionally, the lack of a CSOSA inhibited the launch industry's motivation to invest in processing facilities, much needed to support future programs. And the lack of a CSOSA, as well as other subordinate real property instruments, has precluded use of facilities already built with private funds. An example of this problem is the Delta III solid motor processing facility at CCAS. This is a 100% commercially funded facility, government approval had been received for the land lease and construction. When the facility was completed in late 1997 Boeing was denied use of the facility due to lack of a CSOSA. Subsequently, Boeing did receive permission to process the first set of solids but are still prohibited from using the facility to support current missions.
Real Property. Further, even when a commercial agreement is in place, the length of time required to obtain a real property instrument is excessive. An example: it took CCAS three months to process the paper required to extend a use permit for 60 days. Additionally, the process to obtain use of facilities is lengthy without any single agency in charge: Civil Engineering, Safety, Environmental, Judge Advocate, local archaeological protection agencies, local water districts, as well as many others, have inputs; however, no single agency is responsible for putting it all together. Responsibilities of planning for and managing real estate and facilities are fragmented between the Planning Offices and Civil Engineering. Too, long-range and short-range planning often is not carefully coordinated. A clear, well-defined process of obtaining real property approvals does not exist.
Environmental Approvals. Environmental approvals and processes, such as baseline studies, involve inflexible, expensive methods, which offer little or no relief to temporary users of governmental property. The numbers of permits to be secured and the agencies to be dealt with are extensive: archaeological, water district, wetland protection, and endangered species. Generally speaking, industry launch applicants are sent directly to these various agencies to obtain the necessary permits. The cost and time expended in obtaining these approvals is excessive.
Excess Launch Property and Equipment Policies. In light of the dynamic changes in the commercial space launch industry, the existing AF policies for commercial use of real property/services are inadequate to ensure increased flexibility and more consistency with commercial practices. Current policy, for example, inserts the AF into the evaluation and arbitration process, as it relates to the distribution of excess governmental property/services. This policy is inconsistent with the policy goals of the CSLA.
Although the 1998 amendments to the CSLA require that government be concerned with the competition consequences of its decisions to make excess property available, the AF has shifted the burden onto the launch industry, thus requiring that industry prove that there is no substantially equivalent property or services available. Additionally, the AF sometimes insists that operators consider alternatives, which have been documented as proposed or partially existing capability rather than those which are truly available. Moreover, unrealistic terms and conditions in the AF real property leases undermine the ability of the commercial launch users to make financial investments and plan commercial launch activities with long-term stability.
18.104.22.168 Declining Range Support
Budget Authority. There is little consideration in DoD reimbursement policies for strictly commercial programs. Over time and as military resources diminish, this lack of consideration has led to inadequate manpower and resources to support commercial launch programs. Even users willing to pay for enhanced support, such as range contracts, are inhibited by AF budget authority policies. Recent emphasis on managing Direct Budget Authority/Reimbursable Budget Authority ratios has severely limited flexibility to respond to new requirements. The current initiative to provide for "Full Cost Recovery" of Range support from the commercial users is a further step in the wrong direction. In summation, current financial management policies and constraints needlessly limit improvements in range capabilities and base support for commercial users.
Contracts. Present range contracts are five-year contracts that are reducing range capabilities at the same time that users need increased capability. The range contract payment structure and accompanying incentives can actually reduce responsiveness whenever unplanned work is scheduled. The issues are critical: how to balance the cost to the user with reimbursement to the ranges, and how to enable the ranges to remain postured to support range requirements. Additionally, range contracts have both Award Fee provisions to reward technical performance and Incentive Fee provisions to reward financial performance. However, as actual user requirements exceed the capability of the range contractor to support such additional requirements, the quality of range support provided to the user decreases and, thus, Award Fees are reduced. Likewise, the increased workload causes increased costs; thus, Incentive Fees are reduced. Such situations (requirement exceeding capacity and scope) then create negative impacts on the range contractors and ultimately on the user.
22.214.171.124 Safety Restrictions
Oversight. Commercial users have an interest as great or greater than the government in operating launch sites and in conducting launch campaigns safely. A flight failure or safety incident severely impacts the launch manifest and the ability of the commercial user to attract new/follow-on business. Presently commercial users, as required by the CSLA, provide insurance to protect third parties and to replace government property that may be damaged or destroyed. However, wing safety adding another level of oversight, often impose operational and design criteria that are more appropriate for mission assurance than for safety. In addition, the launch squadrons' and wing safety requirements often overlap. These secondary levels, in effect, create confusion and inefficiency for commercial user personnel. One solution may be found at the WR, where the safety office has evolved an approach for commercial operations that involves initial certification of an operations safety program, but with little oversight thereafter.
Risks. Flight safety concepts and procedures are well founded in time-proven risk management principles. These principles consider launch frequencies and risk-per-launch as measured against public safety maximum risk acceptance. Protective measures such as "flight hazard areas," "impact limit lines," and other restrictions to manage risks were stable for many years. Recently, however, more conservative measures seem to have crept into safety planning processes, such that much larger areas are now protected through evacuation. By previous standards, these changes seem based not on proven risk management fundamentals, but rather on the desires of wing officials. Impacting operations at neighboring work areas adding significant inefficiency.
126.96.36.199 Mission Planning
Universal Documentation System. The Universal Documentation System (UDS) is used throughout the range-planning process to document user requirements and to identify necessary commitments to meet user requirements. Historically, the UDS process has been somewhat manpower intensive, cumbersome, and non-"user-friendly." The Range Commanders' Council (RCC) Documentation Group is working several recent, proposed improvements to the system. One improvement, the "Universal Documentation System File Generation," will offer online services that are planned to be more "user-friendly." Continuous improvement is still necessary to refine the UDS system to meet the on-going requirements of the commercial launch industry. One possible problem area involves the new RSA planning and scheduling systems: it may not be compatible with the new RCC UDS approach.
Resources. The major problem in the mission planning area is uniquely related to range resources and capacity. When range capacity equaled or exceeded range requirements, the ranges were able to accept late requirement definitions and changes. In such instances, the ranges were also postured to help range users define and document their requirements. However, the ranges, no longer possessing the capacity to do the user's job, are now taking a stand that the users are fully responsible for completing their planning and delivering useable documents. The ranges are also reluctant to accept late requirements because of their lack of capacity to replan and perform the readiness activities. In short, with requirements stressing capacity, the ranges have lost the ability to be as user-friendly as in the past.
Safety Approvals. The process for obtaining the requisite approvals for ground processing, system safety, and flight safety is not well structured or understood. This translates into long lead times and uncertainties in the delivery processes. Further, tailoring of safety requirements is a long and difficult process. At the WR, planning forums specifically include safety team members to manage these activities; the process is less structured, at the ER and, is somewhat more unpredictable.
188.8.131.52 Cultural Considerations
Much of the discussion concerning the "customer friendliness" of the Eastern and Western spaceports arises from the military heritage of the ranges and the cultural differences of the military and civilian management styles. Military management is intentionally disciplined and, thus, is designed to survive independent of the individual; additionally, military management accepts an annual personnel turnover rate of thirty to forty percent. The civilian management style, on the other hand, is oriented to personal relationships and a stable work force. Thus, the two cultures do not interface well.
When the ranges were in the AF's acquisition commands, the cultural problems were ameliorated by extended tours of the military work force and by a relatively large civil servant work force. However, this cultural "problem" appears to be exacerbated when the ranges are under an "operational " command unaccustomed to dealing with a "customer" and working with the annual turnover rate that is a way of life in all operational units. "Facility excellence" requirements, support of military exercise and inspections, and unreasonable mandates on standardizing operations, all are examples of the strains that cultural differences create in the daily conduct of activities. Additionally, the constant demand to support formal training of military personnel ties up critical assets needed for operations. Also, security and military control over the Range Operations Control Center (ROCC) at the ER and the new ROCC at the WR inhibit commercial use of these assets.
184.108.40.206 The policies defined by the CSLA and DODD 3230.3 cite "excess capacity" and "non-interference" and are in conflict with the objective of full support for commercial space launch.
220.127.116.11 There is no clear and written guidance to the Wings other than that in the CSLA and DODD 3230.3 concerning commercial space launch, thereby creating conflicts in priorities regarding schedules and services.
18.104.22.168 The fact that the Ranges do not operate as a business presents problems to the commercial user in the areas of cost accounting/billing, services, real estate and property.
22.214.171.124 Current policies developed at the AF level are not friendly to commercial space launch.
126.96.36.199 New AFSPC policies on providing services to commercial space launch companies are creating difficulties for the companies.
188.8.131.52 Findings relative to Wing Safety are consistent with those described in the Foreign Ranges sub-IPT. Many of the safety requirements at the ER are personality dependent. Range Safety is involved in more than flight safety and is redundant with those safety requirements imposed by the Air Force System Program Office (SPO).
184.108.40.206 Current programs to improve the Universal Documentation System are useful and deserve continued support.
220.127.116.11 The perception is that the Ranges are not as active in the MRTFB processes as they have been and perhaps should be in the future.
18.104.22.168 The need to work with many different points of contact in the Space Wing is not as efficient from the commercial supplier's perspective as the single point of contact and team approach practiced at Kourou. A government interface with commercial spacecraft companies is unnecessary and creates inefficiency in pre-launch processing, the launch service provider should be the single point of contact for the spacecraft companies.
6.3 Resource Use Policies
The Resource Use Policy sub-IPT had the objective of examining policies for the use of limited resources (e.g. command transmitters, radars, frequencies, and mobile instrumentation, etc.) With the concurrence of the Range IPT chairman, the sub-IPT expanded its activities to include the scheduling system and the ability to insert private funds into Range operations.
The sub-IPT reviewed previous customer satisfaction surveys to obtain a preliminary indication of questions to use for customer interviews. The sub-IPT then conducted interviews with ER and WR customers to determine current customer issues with Range policies. Studies of range operations tempo, maintenance, minimum safety requirements, and the schedule processes while researching customer identified issues and Range Architecture sub-IPT identified policy issues. The team interviewed experts to understand the current environment with respect to funding and reimbursement processes/procedures. In addition, the sub-IPT reviewed the current AF Instructions that relate to Spacelift.
22.214.171.124 Customer Surveys. A review of previous customer surveys found the Ranges received predominately positive comments. Interviews with the Range customers were conducted to identify current issues with existing range policies in the following areas:
126.96.36.199 Customer Issues
Requirements Process. Customers are confused as to who should document and schedule base support requirements (e.g. communications, security police, civil engineering, etc.). Multiple range agencies create inconsistencies in customer support provided by the Ranges. No written policy exists for deconfliction of range resources.
Range Availability. Training at the WR and maintenance at both Ranges consume range availability, while customers are requesting more Range capacity. ER training is accomplished using off-line simulation systems in a separate mission control room (MCR) and is not considered a problem. In addition, customers decrease Range availability through downtime requests (e.g. radar downtime for satellite transport) at no cost to themselves.
Schedule Process. The scheduling process for launch date change requests takes too long. Currently, the wing commander must approve every change request for a new launch date. Currently, both Ranges have a goal to approve schedule changes within three workdays per formal request. Customers, even though they know they can't make their launch date, make late changes that affect other customers' programs.
188.8.131.52 Operational Studies. The sub-IPT conducted studies of range operations tempo, maintenance, safety requirements, and the schedule processes.
Launch Summary. In fiscal year 1998 (FY98) there were 19 launches (3 government spacelift, 8 commercial spacelift and 8 ballistic) conducted at the WR, while the ER had 27 launches (11 government spacelift, 11 commercial spacelift and 5 ballistic). During these launches the WR averaged 1.7 countdowns per launch attempt, while the ER averaged 1.5 countdowns per launch. In addition, the WR processed three launch date schedule changes for each launch, while the ER averaged 2.5 launch date schedule changes per launch.
Maintenance Summary. For FY 98, the WR conducted a total of 1624 maintenance actions of which 262 were for unplanned corrective maintenance. There were 68 range down days scheduled to accomplish planned maintenance or modifications. One launch was scrubbed during the countdown due to range instrumentation problems. The ER averaged an estimated 2.5 hours of maintenance downtime impact for every launch.
Minimum Safety Requirements. Implementing minimum safety instrumentation requirements increases the risk of holds or scrubs. An analysis of Range problems at the WR for the last 131 countdowns was conducted. If only the minimum Range Safety requirements (i.e. instrumentation) were implemented instead of the normal multiple levels of redundancy, 27 of the 131 launches may have experienced holds and or scrubs. Equivalent data from the ER is not available.
184.108.40.206 Funding Issues. Customers have identified their willingness to invest in Range operations, maintenance and modernization programs. However, the method for customers to invest in the Ranges was not an issue that this sub-IPT was able to resolve. There are many legal, contractual, and financial issues that must be overcome. Therefore, the issue of customer investment in the Ranges was elevated to HQ AFSPC for resolution.
220.127.116.11 The results of the survey showed that there was general customer satisfaction with existing practices despite the fact that there are no written policies below AF level concerning commercial use of limited government resources.
18.104.22.168 An incentive system, inserted into the scheduling process, could be helpful as a forcing function to bring stability in the pre-launch scheduling flow.
22.214.171.124 Training and maintenance conducted off-line would increase Range availability.
126.96.36.199 A single point-of-contact would eliminate customer confusion with the Range requirements process.
188.8.131.52 The Range scheduling process takes too long, and customers would like to have launch date changes approved in less than 24 hours.
184.108.40.206 If commercial investment in the Ranges is practical, then a method for that investment should be established.
6.4 Range Capacity
The Range Capacity sub-IPT was chartered to determine ways to increase the operational capacity of the ER and WR while sustaining safety and reliability. The team's method was applicable to range operations through the long-term (FY2007), but the focus of the effort was on near-term solutions to potential range capacity shortfalls. Because one of the most contentious issues facing range operations is range turn-around, the team was specifically tasked to analyze range turn-around and its effect on range capacity. Finally, the team was tasked to provide recommendations to reduce range turn-around and potential range capacity shortfalls, both near-term and long-term.
The Range Capacity sub-IPT approach centered on the design, development, validation, and analysis of a Range Capacity Model. The objective of the Range Capacity Model effort was two-fold: 1) develop an AF and industry accepted definition of range capacity and the operational variables impacting range capacity; and 2) develop an effective tool for range operational analysis and evaluation. The sub-IPT validated its results through conferences with other sub-IPTs and major range users. Additionally, external contributors to the sub-IPT corroborated the results by conducting independent parametric analyses of the model. By using the model for operational analysis, the sub-IPT identified and evaluated several areas for potential improvements in both capacity and turn-around.
220.127.116.11 The Range Capacity Model. The 45 SW originally initiated the design and development of the ER Capacity Model, completed in March 1998. This initial effort, undertaken by Range operators, provided the fundamental relationships and framework for estimating launch range capacity. This initial version of the model was essentially a bounding exercise, designed to estimate the lower (routinely exceeded) and upper (not realistically achievable) bounds for ER capacity -- realistic maximum capacity lay somewhere between. Though not a high-fidelity tool, the model incorporated historical data, range operations, schedule processes, and manpower limitations. However, further refinement was required for the sub-IPT analyses.
Model refinement was accomplished through feedback and further study. Several operational factors were incorporated into the new model such as minor range operations, maintenance impacts, and future launch vehicle types (EELV). Additionally, the team incorporated a highly detailed estimation matrix to model the complex parallel operations involved in range turn-around. Overall design focus shifted from pure estimation to operational analysis -- the current model now facilitates extensive and detailed sensitivity, parametric, and operational analyses. Finally, the team adapted the model to WR operations to provide the same level of fidelity to WR capacity estimates and analyses. The next step in the process was to validate the model results.
The team took several opportunities to brief the model and its results throughout the course of the overall Range IPT. The following is a listing of Range Capacity Model briefings, conferences, and feedback sessions:
All of the above conferences and meetings were used as opportunities for feedback, commentary, and validation. The final product is a validated, multi-functional estimation tool, which also may be used for evaluation of proposed range improvements aimed at either increasing range capacity or reducing range turn-around.
18.104.22.168 Model Results. The Range Capacity Model expresses generic results in an easily articulated and understood format. The model generates a "generic booster" range efficiency (range time committed per launch) on a year-by-year basis. This generic booster accounts for all individual launch vehicle requirements and takes a weighted average of these requirements across all launch programs, based on the "fleet mix" -- overall launch frequency of individual programs -- for that year. The model then calculates range support time used and/or spent per generic launch. This range time is expressed in "Range Days" (RD) which are 24-hour blocks of accumulated range time (not necessarily contiguous) used and/or spent on various activities in support of a launch vehicle.
For FY 99, based on the projected types and frequencies of individual launch vehicles for that year, the data reveal the following results for the ER:
Ops Support -- estimated at 2.35 Range Days/Launch (RD/L). Ops Support includes launches, major pre-launch supports, range turn-around, and scrubs.
Schedule Changes at 1.30 RD/L. Schedule Changes include customer and Range launch slips.
Minor Ops Impacts at 0.23 RD/L. These are estimated operational impacts of minor pre-launch supports such as beacon readouts, holdfire checks, etc.
Maintenance Impacts at 0.10 RD/L. These are also estimated operational impacts, including periodic maintenance intervals and other maintenance actions.
Personnel Limitations at 3.23 RD/L. Personnel limitations account for ops tempo and resulting crew rest. The model includes OSHA-based Work Standards in its framework.
A summary of ER range efficiency for a generic booster yields 7.21 RD/L. Additional non-launch downtime for FY 99 is estimated at 25 days per year. This downtime includes ROCC downtime and non-launch program support. Estimates for WR usage were similar, but greater in the areas of ops support, maintenance, additional downtime, and minor ops impacts. These differences are attributable to differences in operational requirements and methods.
The Maximum Integrated Range Capacity (MIRC) in FY1999 is estimated at 47 launches per year for the ER and 43 launches per year for the Western Range. The historical average for the ER and WR is 30 and 15 respectively. Figures 10 and 11 illustrate the results of the model for the ER and WR, from FY 98-07.
It is important to note that annual range capacity results are maximums they assume no increases in scheduling conflicts, launch vehicle delays, range downtime, or non-launch support time. The capacity estimates tend to increase (through FY 07) due to three factors. The model assumes that EELVs will require less range support per launch (the team nominally estimated EELV requirements at roughly 60-70% of Atlas or Delta). The model also assumes an increased presence of EELV in the fleet mix (as reflected in the National Mission Model). Finally, the model assumes the operational phase-out of the Titan IV program in the FY02-03 timeframe. Effects of RSA are not reflected in these results.
When the team compared the National Mission Model estimates for the Eastern and Western Ranges to the results of the model, the ER showed a potential shortfall in capacity in FY2002, while the Western Range did not appear to exhibit any capacity shortfall, at least within the near-term (through FY2003).
The parametric studies performed external to the Range Capacity sub-IPT corroborated the above results. These studies examined the impact of range turn-around time on overall annual capacity, assessed the effects of relative overtime levels (of range O&M contractors), and analyzed the generic launch vehicle timelines generated by the model. These independent studies generated results in agreement with the Range Capacity Model results.
22.214.171.124 Analysis of Results. Through the course of the team's investigations, and after examination of the results of the team's model and the independent parametric studies, the team determined four areas suitable for further investigation. The team analyzed these areas to determine their potential for increases in range capacity and reductions in range turn-around. The four areas for potential improvement involve schedule stabilization, pre-launch support reduction, hardware turn-around time reduction, and limited manpower augmentation.
The evaluations of schedule stabilization and pre-launch support were straightforward. The impact of stabilizing the schedule was evaluated within the framework of the model by reducing the size of the baseline estimate for schedule impact as reflected in the range efficiency results for the generic booster. Similarly, the team evaluated the impact of pre-launch support reductions by choosing a representative pre-launch support type (the team chose major pre-launch rehearsals) and reducing the size of the baseline impact estimate.
Evaluation of hardware turn time reduction and the implementation of additional manpower required more complex evaluations. The model's treatment of range turn-around is complex, and it models all of the various range hardware subsystems in parallel. This accurately models actual reconfiguration operations. The team set out to evaluate the dynamics of range turn-around, given the current range hardware, not the impacts of RSA on capacity. To evaluate the impact of hardware improvements, the team reduced turn times for specific subsystems (to measure effects of "piecemeal" solutions) and then performed an "across the board" (all subsystems) reduction in hardware turn times (to measure additional effects). Similarly, the effect of limited manpower augmentation could not be effectively evaluated without a specific implementation plan or Concept of Operations (CONOPS). The team analyzed, modeled, and evaluated a concept by the ER RTS Contractor (1994) addressing the potential benefits of additional manpower on range turn-around.
In addition to evaluating the range capacity and turn-around time impacts of these four potential improvement areas, the team also investigated other aspects of implementing improvements in the individual areas, including rough estimates on implementation timelines and rough-order-of-magnitude (ROM) costs.
126.96.36.199 Scheduling. Schedule changes impact current range commitments, accounting for about 18% of the total range time spent (in this case, lost) supporting a generic launch. From the period between March 1998 and September 1998, the ER Scheduling Office processed 416 operational schedule changes, 44% of which were due to "rippling" a schedule change affecting one or more other range operations. It is reasonable to assume that this number and overall impact may increase in the future due to a more congested schedule. Under current conditions, on the ER, reducing the impact of schedule changes (or reducing the number of changes) by 30% yields a 5% annual capacity increase roughly 2 launches per year.
Range user discipline and Range use policy improvement will be necessary to stabilize scheduling processes; therefore, although ROM costs are undetermined at this time, implementation time lines are similarly undetermined this will probably be an ongoing, or "evolving" process of improvement.
188.8.131.52 Pre-Launch Support. Both ranges currently and historically devote more range time to major pre-launch rehearsals and confidence testing than to launch attempts. The ratio of range time supporting pre-launch rehearsals to range time supporting launch attempts is nearly 2-to-1 for both Eastern and Western Ranges. A 30% reduction in the current amount of range time devoted to launch rehearsals, on the ER, would yield a 6% increase in annual range capacity roughly 2 to 3 launches per year. Reductions in other areas of pre-launch support (an "across the board" or system approach) should yield additional capacity increases. Range users should consider reducing range support requirements for current systems. The AF should encourage development of launch vehicles with reduced range support requirements. The Range Capacity model projects an increase in capacity with an increased presence of an EELV-derived launch fleet, further illustrating the utility of streamlined range operations.
A ROM cost for reductions in pre-launch support requirements is unknown, but is likely to be minimal, due to the fact that, primarily, processes and procedures would require revision no new funding for manpower or equipment would be necessary. At the same time, however, these revisions would require significant customer (launch vehicle), RTS Contractor (confidence testing), and Range Safety (safety requirements) evaluation. Therefore, though reducing support requirements may be a possible near-term solution, it will more likely be ongoing, as with schedule stabilization.
184.108.40.206 Hardware Turn-around. There are several hardware subsystems (12 on the ER) which must be reconfigured and tested (to varying degrees, based upon launch vehicles types) in order to "turn-around" the range between two launches. Improvement of all (or, at least all of the most labor-intensive) range hardware subsystems will be necessary to realize significant turn-around time reduction and capacity improvement. Reduction of hardware turn-around times for individual subsystems does not yield significant improvement in turn-around due to the fact that reconfiguration tasks and tests occur in parallel. The team found that an "across the board" (systems approach) reduction of hardware turn-around yielded greater potential benefits to range capacity and turn-around. Figure 12 illustrates the effects of reducing turn times for single subsystems and reducing turn times for all subsystems. Note that specific benefits of the Range modernization program were not evaluated.
Reducing the current turn-around times of all range subsystems on the ER by 40% (i.e. turning the range once a day ~ 24 hours) will yield a 20% capacity increase over the current estimate roughly 8 to 9 launches per year. This raises, (based on the capacity model) a sensitivity issue for future RSA IIB improvement plans. If the capacity benefit is minimal beyond a 40% improvement in turn time (24 hours), resources to drive down to currently stated 4 hour turns should be closely evaluated.
Based on the current schedules for range hardware modernization, a hardware solution to potential capacity shortfalls is not likely to be a near-term solution. Additionally, cost estimates for any hardware improvement acceleration will require validation, but any cost estimate for this type of undertaking will be substantial.
220.127.116.11 Manpower Augmentation. The Air Force should implement a "core crew" as required to increase range capacity. The "core crew" consists of 50-60 persons at he ER and 10-20 persons at the WR specifically tasked with rapidly reconfiguring the most labor intensive range hardware subsystems, thus significantly reducing range turn-around, potentially increasing schedule flexibility, and substantially increasing range capacity. Implementation of the "core crew" concept would cut ER turn-around by 50% and increase current capacity estimates by 20% -- about 9 launches per year.
The original 1994 concept produced by the ER RTS Contractor estimated 53 technicians would be necessary to create a core crew 14 telemetry techs, 29 communications techs, and 10 timing techs. A similar crew (an estimated 20 technicians) may also be possible as an augmentation of Western Range manpower.
The basic concept activates the core crew post launch, in order to reconfigure range hardware in parallel with the launch personnel's crew rest period. Figure 13 depicts the flow of an ER core crew-augmented turn-around.
The core crew does not involve the hiring of a "standing army" of contractor crews although a core crew may not always be necessary, technicians will be able to perform other duties within the scope of the RTS contract. The core crew does, however, avoid the cost of an entire second shift (a virtual "standing army" which would produce the same effect as the core crew the second shift is overkill in this regard). The estimated cost of a 50-60 person core crew is $3.5 4.5 million per year, with an implementation time of 6-12 months for technician hiring and training.
Given the potential benefits to range capacity and turn-around and the relatively low cost of the option, implementation of a core crew would provide the best overall return on investment for addressing capacity needs. This option is flexible: the Air Force may elect to start, stop, and/or extend as necessary to meet launch demand this option allows greater operational flexibility and "surge" capacity. In light of these considerations for surge capacity, however, it must be noted that the core crew answers the question of RTS contractor manpower limitations, but does not address the probable Air Force manpower limitations in the Range command and control element in a "surging" environment. Redistribution of current AF strength, augmentation of AF range crews, or revision of AF CONOPS would be necessary for proper range command and control in this environment.
The team charted the Range Capacity trend line for the ER, augmented the trend line with the "core crew", and compared this new line with the current National Mission Model launch estimates (Figure 14).
The "bow wave" of the National Mission Model occurs in FY2002. The "core crew" represents a near-term solution "bridge" to RSA or other longer-term solutions, by addressing potential capacity shortfalls.
The Range Capacity Model. Range Capacity Model is a linear range operations analysis method, and it represents an unprecedented level of effort. The model combines detailed historical data, current procedures, and in-depth application of range operator experience. The model provides decision-makers with a comprehensive estimation framework, which adapts to changing conditions. Continued study involving non-linear, higher fidelity models should be pursued, and the Range Capacity Model provides a solid foundation to understanding the myriad of interrelated factors impacting launch range operations.
The Core Crew. Additional manpower, in the form of the "core crew", presents the overall best opportunity for near-term capacity increase. The concept provides a relatively quick implementation, and it avoids the cost of a "standing army" approach to overcoming manpower limitations. The core crew is flexible in application, providing a near-term "bridge" to an overall long-term system solution in which the core crew concept (in whole or in part) may play a role.
Capacity Sustainment. One issue not addressed by the core crew is that of sustainment, which can only be addressed by hardware modernization and improvement. The long-term solution to either overcoming range capacity shortfalls or attaining range capacity goals will involve a system solution range operations comprise complex interactions of a vast array of individual systems, agencies, and people. It will also require a partnership between the Air Force (as Range services provider) and the launch industry (as launch services provider). Teamwork will be an essential element of continued improvement.
6.5 Range Architecture
The Range IPT was created to evaluate and recommend constructive changes to the current range modernization and sustainment program that would help fix limitations in range capacity, user friendliness, policy or top-level architecture. The Range Architecture sub-IPT looked across the board at the current programs supporting the range activity: RSA, I&M, and other user-specific planned or ongoing "pad" activities. A factor that framed the Range IPT's efforts was the reality of changes that have occurred in the ranges over the last five years. Specifically, the sub-IPT considered the impacts of three major events that impact the future of our range program. First, the delayed completion of the original RSA program from FY03 until early FY07. Second, the accelerated completion of Government current launch operations from FY05 to FY02. And third, the advent of new emerging commercial range users typified by the Lockheed-Martin and Boeing EELV programs in FY02. Figure 15 shows graphically the potential timing issues created as a result of this changing landscape.
Several "architectural" issues are identified in this graphic. First is the potential that the RSA program (originally due to complete in FY03 and designed to service current launch operations for Delta II, Atlas II/IIAS, Titan II, and Titan IVA/IVB through their planned phase-out in FY05) is not aligned to their accelerated completion. That is, RSA concludes in FY07 with current Government launch operations finishing in FY02.
Other issues stem from the "new" range needs of the emerging commercial marketplace--requirements that were never planned in any previous Government range program: How will we properly address key, enabling requirements for the new commercial launch service market in our Government ranges? How will funding policy adapt to accommodate the commercial launch supplier as the primary and dominant range user of the future? The former AFSPC Commander's belief that future US Government access to space is directly tied to the viability and vitality of the US commercial launch market clearly underpins the charter of this entire Range IPT.
Another issue that framed the Range Architecture sub-IPT's activities is the concern that, because of this emerging commercial market, "range capacity" would be insufficient to accommodate projections of continued rise in demand for access to space and associated pressure on range assets. Such shortfalls could possibly lead to reduced US market share of the commercial launch business, as companies would go offshore to satisfy their capacity requirements.
Directly related to this was the perception (and reality) that foreign, or "offshore", ranges may be more responsive to the needs of the commercial range users. Understanding the positive "lessons learned" from foreign range use would be a necessary part of addressing the potential improvements to our own ranges -- improvements that would make US ranges the first choice for any user. Equally important is the other side of the argument: making our ranges more "user friendly" by reducing bureaucracy and overhead--and, in some cases, fixing what seems to be a lack of range customer sensitivity. Tied to all of these issues is the potential need to address limiting or restrictive "policies" that constrain efficient programmatic or political changes to the way we conduct business on our US ranges.
Given this background, the Vice Commander of Air Force Space Command chartered the Range IPT to examine the full range of related operational and programmatic issues that bear on the effective operation of the supporting range infrastructure. The following is an extract from his original charter memorandum:
"It is clear that our existing personnel, facility and range modernization programs are adequate to support national space launch programs. If we are to support a robust commercial space launch program, we need to define our shortfalls and identify what can be done to assure success"
Lt Gen Lance Lord, AFSPC/CV, April 1998
This charter spawned the creation of five Range "sub-IPTs" to examine different aspects of the current range problem. Lessons learned from foreign ranges, range user friendliness, resource use policy, range capacity, and overall range architecture sub-IPTs worked their respective areas of concern for over six months with regular cross-integration activities to ensure consistency, balance and proper focus. The Range Architecture sub-IPT was tasked with facilitating the integration of the other four sub-IPTs' efforts. As a result, a number of findings from the other sub-IPTs were flowed down into new requirements for validation and reprioritization. Range Lessons Learned, User Friendliness and Policy findings applicable to Range Architecture centered on systems and procedures for improved range safety and scheduling. The Range Capacity Sub-IPT had the most direct impact on the architecture requirements, and the most intensive interaction with the architecture team. This Range Capacity team created and exercised an operational capacity model, based upon the historical data, current procedures, and processes at the ER. Although this study did include systems modernization and launch vehicle hardware evolution, its most significant finding driving range architecture was that additional manpower presented the best opportunity for near-term capacity improvement. Given these basic inputs, the Architecture sub-IPT employed the best available data from government, commercial and other range users to determine whether the current range modernization program was structured for best possible support. It considered potential changes where appropriate for both the near-, mid-, and far-term.
This tasking initially focused on the RSA program, managed by SMC. Specifically, the following areas were to be investigated, by direction of the Range IPT chairman:
As will be seen through this report, this initial tasking was broadened significantly over the life of the sub-IPT to encompass other spacelift range systems items and issues such as I&M projects, commercial spaceport ventures, and military and civil (government) test-and-evaluation activities.
The Range Architecture sub-IPT methodology addressed the changing environment depicted in Figure 15, and was built upon two basic actions:
18.104.22.168 Team Membership. The Range Architecture sub-IPT included a broad membership that addressed current and future needs, capabilities, and costs. Herein "needs" refer to functional range support requirements of either the military, intelligence, civil, state or commercial range users -- including both current (as defined in existing RSA operational requirements documentation) and new (such as EELV, commercial, Spaceport) range capabilities. Representatives of these communities placed a large amount of effort on identifying and scrubbing new, emerging requirements as well as affirming the continued applicability of current stated range needs.
22.214.171.124 Approach: The approach to executing this methodology was composed of five primary steps:
126.96.36.199 Framing the Environment (Step 1): Based on Figure 13, the natural epochs in Step 1 are self-evident, and are identified as:
Even though there have been significant changes to the originally planned range modernization program, it was found that efforts are still basically on the correct path. The delayed final implementation of RSA to early FY2007; the acceleration of current government Delta, Atlas, and Titan launches to FY2002; and new emerging commercial launch service needs typified by EELV frame this finding. This highlights the potential problems that can and have occurred between the delayed RSA program and the "reactive" I&M program that attempts to fill the voids that are created. Two well-meaning activities were not under common management and resulted in situations where pressing near-term requirements did not receive adequate attention. This is further complicated in the mid-term by emerging commercial launch services requirements that were never part of the original modernization baseline. This suggests a strong need to address their collective impacts on the "to-go" range program in terms of modernization content and priority.
188.8.131.52 Identify and Categorize Needs (Step 2): This step identifies near-term "Fixes" to improve current launch operations which could include reprioritization of currently defined needs and reduction/deletion of requirements that no longer contribute to the new, changing environment. This step identifies new emerging commercial needs for space launch (EELV, spaceports, Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV), etc.) and identifies AF mid-term "investments" that facilitate continued commercial/government access to space. For consistency, this step also ensures that near- and mid-term changes are "enablers" of the long-term vision of AFSPC. Across all of these, other sub-IPT identified needs are flowed into the requirements baseline for subsequent reviews and validation. Figure 16 depicts this flowdown and integration of requirements into a final, defendable set of current and future range needs.
Requirements Inputs: Within this step, the architecture team surveyed the launch operations community for their desired "needs" within the stated epochs. Three questions were formulated to bound the survey and stimulate replies:
A standardized input format was created to aid in collating the inputs from the community, which were then catalogued in a database matrix using an Excel spreadsheet. During the course of this sub-IPT, over 270 range "requirements" were collected from the full set of users: DoD, Civil, State and commercial. Figure 17 breaks down these inputs by requirement category.
Roughly 30% of the 270+ needs evaluated had significant operational merit. Table 1 shows a sample of these new range needs that help improve range availability/capacity. It is not surprising that the largest percentage of these new needs address better weather prediction, given that weather is the single most significant driver of launch delays and scrubs.
184.108.40.206 Assess Operational Utility (Step 3): This step used a "Carnsian" methodology (so named for the Joint Requirements Oversight Council approach taken by the former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Michael P. C. Carns) to cull valid functional needs based on underpinning operational rationale. The same validation ("scrubbing") was applied to current existing requirements and proposed new commercial needs for the range architecture. This was done to ensure that current RSA and I&M/sustainment requirements and new commercial needs were based on defendable rationale, and where not, that such requirements were dropped or restructured.
Requirements Validation: Within this step, the community inputs from Step 2 underwent several levels of examination and validation:
220.127.116.11 Determine Potential Funding Sources (Step 4): Step 4 identifies funding to implement any new or re-prioritized spacelift range needs. This was considered a "zero-sum" situation--that is, no new money is anticipated to buy requisite capabilities beyond currently defined RSA and I&M programs. There is a clear advantage to redirecting internal range program funding to help pay for any "new" capabilities if the original need can no longer be supported by sound operational rationale. Identifying "off-sets" based on lack of (or change in) requirements justification is clearly the right answer. As described above, the cursory look at existing requirements in the ORD yielded nearly $40 million of questionable "needs." It strongly suggested that more potential funding sources could be mined by a more thorough AFSPC review. It is absolutely essential to look at this initial exercise as preliminary and requiring full review/validation by HQ AFSPC and the SPO. In addition, such potential requirements savings are needed to cover existing internal range program shortfalls and new priorities as well as help pay for new, as yet unfunded, commercial requirements that are critical for the future. Equally important is the capability to generate commercial investment in mutual range improvements -- investment that would help directly satisfy common range requirements.
The Boeing Company led an Architecture Sub-IPT splinter group of commercial range users to develop an "investment model." The simple objective was to determine the framework for an effective business case to allow the commercial marketplace to justify internal financial support for new range modernization projects. Boeing and other commercial range stakeholders are finalizing a mutual charter for this activity. Because of its enduring nature, it is expected that the range commercial financing activity will be adopted as a recurring agenda item in the AFSPC-led Commercial Space Industry Leaders Conference that meets on a semi-annual basis. Clearly, the ability of the commercial users to help "pay their way" to a commercial launch services future is the right answer. Such funding, in combination with "off-sets" generated from the requirements scrub described earlier, will be sources for satisfying the "new" requirements ultimately validated by AFSPC in Step 5 below.
5. Recommend Value-Added Changes (Step 5): This step recommends cost-effective range investment options or changes for each epoch. It reaffirms, revises, and identifies new needs and priorities. This step is the culmination of the previous activities. It takes "scrubbed" current and new range requirements and reassesses the priority of the projects that will implement those needs. Implicit is the re-prioritization of efforts to address any remaining near-term deficiencies. This step should specifically fix current "bad actors" like range safety displays/processors, command links and associated communications by further accelerating corrective action. Figure 18 dramatically shows the recent track record for such mission-impacting problems as compiled by the 45th Maintenance Squadron. It should be noted that AFSPC and AFMC have recently made some remarkable progress towards establishing a "proactive" sustainment program that will help address such mission-impacting problems. In the near-term, re-prioritization of projects to fix systemic hardware problems must be part of the overall plan while such sustainment efforts are being implemented.
This step also considers non-material solutions to satisfy validated capacity needs including added manpower, procedure changes, reduction in overhead (e.g., rehearsals) and improved schedule efficiencies. A strong suggestion flows from this recognition of viable non-material solutions: we need to better capture the "right" needs! Specifically, we need to better define key, top-level function requirements like range throughput (capacity) based on mission forecasts. We need to then let key performance parameters like capacity drive sub-tier requirements such as range "cold start" and range "turn time" (e.g., requisite capacity, supported first by non-material solutions, may not drive modernization designs to "fast starts" and "quick turns" of 1.5 and 4.0 hours, respectively). As a result, more modest (and better-justified) sub-tier "requirements" could result in additional cost-avoidance through less required automation or other similar decrease in material solutions. Such cost-avoidance could also help fund other new value-added capabilities described below.
A number of specific new technical capabilities were evaluated for possible implementation at a level detailed enough to establish preliminary costs and schedules. Figure 19 shows these details for those top 22 items. This detail is "notional" at best, but represents the best estimate at this time for the cost and schedule for these candidates. The detailed documentation/databases for all 270+ items were provided to the IPT sponsor (AFSPC/DO) for inclusion in follow-on system requirements analyses and subsequent formal requirements validation efforts.
Overall, this sub-IPT has framed the near-term actions required to satisfy the charter given by AFSPC/CV (i.e.: "defining our shortfalls and identifying what can be done to assure success"). However, it is outside the scope of the sub-IPT to approve and re-validate requirements, set new operational priorities, reallocate funding, or adjust manpower and procedures. Based on the sub-IPT's input, AFSPC needs to formally conduct the requirements validation, re-prioritization and sourcing actions highlighted in Steps 3, 4, and 5. That will set in motion the requisite changes identified in the following architecture sub-IPT findings.
The efforts of the Range Architecture sub-IPT concluded with a wide range of findings involving technical, programmatic, financial, legislative and philosophical issues. Some of the findings identify areas or questions, which cannot be answered in the limited life of this team, but warrant further study these have been passed to the IPT's sponsor (AFSPC/DO) for further consideration. Throughout the life of this sub-IPT, many formal and informal action items were generated at the various meetings and working group sessions. Although not all embodied or led to specific findings or recommendations, the formal action items were documented and disseminated. These and all other supporting studies, databases and documentation were provided to the IPT sponsor for reference and follow-up action. Given the above discussion, the following represent the top-level findings of the Range Architecture sub-IPT:
18.104.22.168 Range Modernization. In general, the RSA program is on track towards reaching its goals of replacing aging equipment, reducing operations workload and maintenance support through increased automation, and standardizing range systems and interfaces. In addition to budget shortfalls, the re-phasing of current government launch programs and the pending changeover to EELV commercial launch services have impacted current Range modernization plans. The importance of Range modernization to meet mid-term mission model expectations is confirmed -- supportability problems will become capacity limiting if not corrected.
22.214.171.124 Current Range Requirements. Range requirements are, and will probably be, an issue throughout the RSA program. Some of the current requirements are "over-specified"/solution-based. New emerging commercial needs should be endorsed/properly addressed. A cursory review of current range requirements identified up to $40 million of "soft"/poorly justified needs a clear indication that more savings/re-investment opportunities can be had (AFSPC and SPO must formally reconcile savings against program shortfalls, new priorities and new commercial requirements).
126.96.36.199 New/Revised Requirements. Identifying launch capacity as a key performance parameter (KPP) will appropriately drive sub-tier requirements for Range systems development and procurement. A top-level re-baseline of requirements in content and priority would recognize the time phasing of programs, funding sources and growing commercial program needs. The 1994 RSA ORD should be formally updated and revalidated accordingly.
188.8.131.52 Near-Term Focus. Pressing and disabling near-term range systems reliability and maintainability problems are impacting range support--reprioritization and close coordination with I&M projects are essential. AFMC and AFSPC efforts to move from a reactive I&M program to a proactive sustainment program are seen as an important step in avoiding near-term deficiencies.
184.108.40.206 Single Integrator. A single integration entity, as agreed to by AFSPC and AFMC, can assure proper synchronization of RSA, I&M, sustainment and other range projects including control of government and commercial "launch pad" interface requirements to the rest of the range. In addition to the traditional "systems", this entity should develop contingency plans and ops work-arounds to address near-term "fixes". This integration entity should facilitate incremental developments that allow frequent insertion of new technology that "enable" improved performance--balanced against longer-term system-level range infrastructure upgrades.
The single integrator must manage this balance with direct and regular inputs from range customers sustainment based on sound Reliability Maintability and Availability (RMA) data and value engineering are key to this approach.
220.127.116.11 Commercial Financing. Commercial launch suppliers are another source of funding for range modernization and are willing and able to invest in infrastructure improvements, provided an adequate government-industry mechanism for such investment can be created. The current HQ AFSPC-led Commercial Space Industry Leaders Conference could serve as a springboard for such a mechanism.
18.104.22.168 Far-Term Vision. For the far term, a systems engineering approach addressing flight safety, equipment reliability vice redundancy, enabling technologies and other factors will enable the achievement of long-term objectives. Such an approach could re-examine basic range functions, potentially eliminating the need for a Range per se through increased reliability and innovative technology applications. We need to be open-minded to the idea that rather than "modernizing" the old way of doing business, it may be better to "re-engineer" the basic range processes.
Historically, the ER and WR schedules have been dominated by DoD and NRO space launch programs. In recent years, the DoD/NRO portion of the ER and WR launch schedules has moved from a majority to a minority. The total government (DoD and NASA) portion remains a slim majority, but projections show that commercial space launch will likely become a majority of the schedule within five years.
The importance of commercial space launch to the AFSPC shows itself in two ways. First, the DoD/NRO launch requirements have generally stabilized at a relatively low level. To maintain a space launch capability solely for government programs would be very expensive. The use of government facilities for commercial space launch provides, at essentially no cost, an in-being capability for a rapid response to national security contingency requirements. Second, a robust commercial space launch capability provides an increasing reliability and a reduced cost per launch for both commercial and DoD customers.
There is no stronger motivation for reliability than the profit motive, and commercial space launch relies on profit for success. This maturing of the space launch industry permits downsizing of AF oversight/insight and a reduction of government personnel, thereby permitting these manpower spaces to be transferred to more pressing military mission activities.
During the initial phases of the commercial space launch buildup, the government's attitude can be best described as tolerant support. As commercial space launch becomes the dominant segment of the launch schedule, AFSPC's dependence on it for successful and economic access warrants a shifting towards full and enthusiastic support. This shifting of attitude represents the most significant step towards making CCAS and VAFB world class spaceports.
There is no question that the Range equipment, especially at ER, is antiquated. However, the Range O&M contract provisions to date have not provided sufficient incentive for innovation to improve reliability, capacity and turn around. One must conclude that a proper incentive structure in a competitive environment will bring forth innovative techniques and processes not now conceivable.
Traditionally, the operating command (AFSPC) is the customer of AFMC. Further, when it purchases launch vehicles and satellites, the AF is the customer. In commercial space launch, the role is reversed. The space launch company is the customer of the services provided by the AF managed launch base and the Range.
If space launch is no longer an AFSPC core competency, then the mission of the Space Launch Squadron must be revisited. One way to reflect the revised mission is to rename the squadron to a Launch Support Squadron. The Launch Support Squadron would provide insight and also support the space launch company in its day to day business with the support Base and the Range. Manning would necessarily be reduced commensurate with the tasks at hand.
In today's practices, the effective federal subsidy of the two major space launch companies is significant. They are using facilities constructed by the AF; they are only billed for the direct costs of a mission and the salaries of the uniformed personnel are exempt from reimbursement; in the past they are able to use government services or purchase them from a government contract. It is not clear what the level of subsidy will be in the future and it is not within the purview of the IPT to make a judgment on the issue. The IPT does consider it important that everyone in the government work force understand what is subsidized and why. Both space launch companies contend they cannot be globally competitive without an effective subsidy.
The insight approach needs to be clearly communicated so that personnel working with the space launch companies understand their duties and the limitations imposed by insight vice oversight. A Wing training program would be helpful in assuring that all understand their responsibilities. This could also be an opportunity to train personnel on their responsibilities in support of a commercial space launch.
As responsibilities are redefined for insight and commercial space launch begins to dominate the launch schedule, the Wing Commander's responsibilities need to be redefined. For example, the Wing Commander's responsibility for a commercial space launch is limited to compliance with flight safety requirements and the provision of Range services. Launch decision, from a mission assurance perspective, rests with the space launch company. The Wing Commander can stop a launch for flight safety reasons but mission assurance is not the Commander's responsibility.
The role that Wing Safety plays in the future commercial space launch industry needs to be examined very carefully. The situation today can be characterized anecdotally with examples of adversarial relations, lack of a true team approach, and technical decisions being personality dependent. This characterization is more directed at the 45th Space Wing than the 30th Space Wing. An aggressive program to rectify this perception will go a long way towards making CCAS a world class spaceport.
It is true that space launch does not approach the reliability of an airplane. It is also true that space launch is not yet routine as demonstrated by the volatility of the launch date as technical problems are encountered during pre-launch processing. Yet the long-term objectives should be continuing vehicle reliability improvements and improving the reliability of pre-launch processing. Both measures will reduce the cost of space launch and have sufficient motivation within the space launch companies. Another major cost reduction opportunity is in the cost of providing for the public safety. The perception is that protective measures are more conservative than they need to be and that redundancy is excessive. Every effort should be made to revert to a substantiated safety requirements baseline. Further, the use of modern technology such as data relay through space and GPS provides the opportunity for innovation. To this end, autonomous flight termination seems a reasonable long term objective. An official establishment of such a long-term objective could foster innovation not yet discernible.
A significant portion of Eastern and Western Range Regulation 127-1 contains material that is design criteria. These criteria reflect more than forty years of lessons learned and are valuable to the design engineer. Since the Ranges are no longer in the Air Force Materiel Command, this material ought to be returned to AFMC so it can be readily available to industry and the design engineers. The material is certainly not of interest to an operating Command.
The issues raised by the Customer Friendliness sub-IPT are, to a major extent, workable. Clearly, the Ranges are not operated as a business; yet, with aggressive treatment, there should be no reason why the proper procedures and processes cannot be set up to establish good business relationships with the users of the Ranges. The first step is the formal recognition that a robust, successful commercial space launch industry is beneficial to the Nation, DoD, USAF and AFSPC. The second step is the transmission to the work force the recognition that the Range user, as long as they are compliant with safety regulations, is a desired customer. The third step, and probably the most difficult one, is the modifying of laws, government regulations and policies to enable financial, real estate and property management to be in accordance with accepted business practices.
The sub-IPTs have revealed a consistent criticism of the Range scheduling system as being inflexible and slow to respond. Both Wings have been working the problem as best they can. The acceptance of a standard for response such as 24 hours or less would be a step forward. A policy that encourages interactive scheduling and schedule management by exception are also steps that would be welcomed. Companies accept that in a competitive environment, third party schedule management is necessary. Companies also know that they must work together in a friendly environment or schedule management will be onerous and inefficient. A senior management review involving the Wing Commander and the space launch company site managers would result in a system that would foster teamwork and be the best achievable. It may be possible to devise an incentive system that would help stabilize the schedules. This is problematical considering the pressures on the commercial space launches for either on-time launch or as soon as possible thereafter.
The Architecture sub-IPT recognized the problems associated with old equipment outages during pre-launch processing. Since the Range modernization program has been laid out and contractual effort defined, it may be appropriate to consider contingency planning for Tiger Teams to work specific equipment problems that continue to arise during the period before RSA final implementation. This should be harmonized with RSA to protect Range capacity, funding and schedule requirements. Furthermore, new emerging commercial launch range requirements (EELV, Spaceports, etc.) need to be validated and prioritized with other existing range needs. New commercial financing arrangements need to be refined and implemented to allow cost effective contractor investment in our mutual range future.
With the Range operating at near capacity, the contractor work force receives overtime compensation with the only compensation for the uniformed work force being compensatory time off. This is possible up to a point. It would seem appropriate to review manning documents with the intent of providing depth in critical skills to assure adequate manning at all times. For example, at the WR where uniformed personnel provide security, they could be supplemented by a contractor force to compensate for extended absences to support AF-wide overseas commitments.
The Range IPT was asked to determine how Range personnel could be reduced. The IPT was not successful in finding opportunities for personnel reductions in the contractor work force beyond those already enabled by deployment of RSA upgrades, but it does see opportunities for significant reduction in the government work force, especially in the uniformed ranks. For example, Range scheduling can be placed under contract with AF management by exception. There are other examples. It would be useful to define an objective Wing organization after the transition from oversight and the transfer of all possible activities to a contracted work force. The core competencies that would necessarily remain with the AF are: schedule management, frequency management, weather forecasting, disaster preparedness, financial management, contracts management, ground and flight safety, real estate, facilities, equipment, property, utilities, security, fire protection and medical. The objective Wing might consist of two groups plus staff. The two groups could be the Spaceport Operations Group and the Range Operations Group. Personnel strength of the Wing could be as low as one hundred people or less.
The obvious solution raised by many is the privatization of the Ranges where they are operated by a quasi government organization modeled after the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) or a similar organization. Clearly, this is a feasible solution and would easily enable the Ranges to operate like a business. There are three concerns with this approach:
In May of 1998, AFSPC announced a spaceport concept where individual organizations operated launch complexes within a spaceport area in much the same manner that an airline operates a terminal in a major airport such as Los Angeles International (LAX). This airport/spaceport analogy seems to fit quite well. The KSC/CCAS area lends itself to the described spaceport operational concept. Each major launch entity has sufficient real estate, facilities and launch pads to operate as an independent operation. For example, KSC operates independently, using the Range as needed. Lockheed Martin can operate its commercial programs independently using complexes 36A and 36B. In a like manner, Boeing can execute its commercial programs using complexes 17A and 17B along with associated facilities. The existing lease of 36B is the precedent for continued leasing. Whereas, in the past, a commercial launch was a special event in a government program, the situation can now be reversed, with the government launch being a special event in a commercial program.
At the present time, the only test mission on the ER is the operational testing of the Navy SLBMs. Should this mission be moved to the west coast, the ER could focus on the space launch mission and perhaps achieve some significant cost reductions. If the X-34 should ever fly, there is a high probability it will be launched from a NASA complex.
It is intended that the Range IPT provide options for the future that will lay the groundwork to achieve the objective of world class spaceports. This will ensure the U.S. has the capability to support a robust, domestic launch and satellite manufacturing capability.
Based on the sub-IPT reports and the Discussion, the following conclusions are drawn:
a) The survey made in the benchmarking of foreign ranges shows that CCAS is ranked second in the world because of customer problems interfacing with the Range and with Range Safety.
The Customer Friendliness IPT provided confirmation of this assessment and identified specific issues that can be resolved to fix the situation.
These problems are workable, generally at the Wing level, with some Higher Headquarters involvement.
b) The IPT has developed an acceptable definition of Range capacity using an empirically derived model, which also provides a useful tool for testing sensitivity to various changes.
c) Pending the completion of modernization, the most significant way to increase Range capacity is the addition of a re-configuration crew "core crew" (50-60 people at ER, 10-20 people at WR).
The use of a re-configuration crew "core crew" is projected to cut the turn around time in half at the ER. It was not possible to do additional analysis of the turn around time because the information on work accomplished during turn around could not be made available without a Contract Change Request to the RTS contractor.
d) Range Safety is perceived to be a major driver of the Ranges' operating costs. A thorough technical analysis is needed to determine whether significant cost reduction can be made while retaining an acceptable safety standard. New technologies may provide the opportunity for more affordable alternatives to achieving desired safety standards. A personality dependent Range Safety program creates inefficiency.
e) Both Ranges should be operated like a business, providing services to the users. This can be accomplished in two ways an Air Force-industry partnership or privatization.
f) An RTS contract structure with better performance as well as cost incentives could foster innovation in achieving improved Range capacity, turn around and reliability.
g) The shift from oversight to insight, as well as commercial space launch, requires a redefining of Wing mission statements, responsibilities, accountabilities and job descriptions. It also requires the training of personnel on insight practices.
h) Two plausible objectives define a ten-year National perspective. They are: 1. A globally competitive and world-class spaceport, and 2. A reliable and cost effective alternative way of providing for the public safety.
i) A spaceport operated by industry under AFSPC guidance provides a national security purview over a segment of the nation's industry that is becoming an essential instrument of national power.
j) The actions recommended by the Range IPT will provide sufficient capacity to meet the National Mission Model until the effects of Range modernization add another increment in capacity improvement.
k) Range capacity is a measure of merit that should be adopted as a standard for future budget and program developments and formally included in subsequent requirements documents.
l) The Range modernization (RSA) program is the key element of success in meeting future National Mission Model requirements. It deserves the AF's best effort in talent and management to assure that requirements are reviewed, updated and revalidated; and that costs and schedules are kept under control.
m) Contingency plans made to resolve Range equipment problems that need attention before their scheduled modification or replacement will give improved assurance of meeting space launch requirements.
n) If the cost of safety can be significantly reduced, then spaceport financial self-sufficiency can be a plausible objective.
9.0 NATIONAL PERSPECTIVE
9.1 Ten-year Perspective
Current trends lay the foundation for a long-term perspective. The Air Force presence at the spaceports is diminishing. The national security (AF and NRO) launch rate is stable with the likely prospect of diminishing. The NASA launch rate is stable with some prospect of increasing. The commercial launch rate is increasing with as yet no evidence of a steady state.
There are also some factors that influence a long-term perspective. While there is considerable discussion about single stage to orbit and some flight-testing has been funded. It is not yet clear that single stage to orbit is achievable in the foreseeable future, leading to the conclusion that the two U.S. spaceports will be the principle means of space access for some time to come. It is quite clear that the armed forces have a strong dependence on the use of space for military operations. It is also quite clear that the nation's economy has a strong dependence on the use of space for daily business transactions. Information technology is becoming recognized as an important element of national power. These observations lead to the conclusion that the United States spaceports are national assets and that assured access to space is a necessary element of long term sustainment of the military and commercial constellations that are so important to the nation's welfare.
Long term objectives will define a vision for the future.
The GPS technology coupled with space borne telemetry relay can lead to a very reliable autonomous flight termination system, obviating the need for down range tracking stations and real time telemetry. Long-term objective: A reliable, autonomous flight termination system.
Ranges exist to measure performance and to protect the public - a typical test environment. Examples are firing ranges, missile range, bombing ranges and the like. Space launch is no longer a test activity and should, in the long term approach the reliability of an airplane. Long-term objective: The divorcing of space launch from ranges.
In May 1998, AFSPC defined a spaceport concept where a spaceport operated in the same way that a major airport such as Los Angeles International operates today. The concept was reviewed by NASA and industry and no major obstacles were noted. Long-term objective: A spaceport operated like an airport and as a business.
A viable option is the management of the spaceports and the Ranges by a quasi government agency such as the USPS or AMTRAK. It is still a dangerous world and the spaceports are obviously attractive strategic targets. The future is clouded and for these reasons, it appears appropriate that overall management be retained within the military and specifically AFSPC. AFSPC has the security and intelligence infrastructure and access to other CINCs for assuring the protection of the spaceports from hostile or subversive attack. Long-term objective: Continued Air Force jurisdiction.
The cost of doing business in space launch is high and today all users are subsidized except AFSPC. Technology trends point towards lower costs in the future. Long-term objective: Financially self-sufficient spaceports.
The opportunity is for maximum use of a contractor work force leaving a limited number of functions to the Air Force - functions such as schedule and frequency management, contracts and financial management, disaster preparedness and flight safety. Long-term objective: A small (less than 100 people) specialized Wing organization that could consist of two Groups - a Spaceport Operations Group and a Range Operations Group.
This then leads to the Vision:
10.1 Range Capacity
1) Develop a method for portraying future demand beyond three years, which reflects a reasonable trend extrapolation.
2) Adopt the 45 SW Capacity Model as the Command standard for Range capacity and supporting operations analyses.
3) Use competition and incentives to gain innovation in near-term capacity and turn-around improvements.
4) Hold the "core crew" concept as an option for use if capacity or schedule stress becomes a serious issue.
10.2 AF/Commercial Interfaces
5) Provide policy addressing priority of commercial launch. Recommend co-equal priority except as directed by the Current Launch Schedule Review Board (CLSRB).
6) Include commercial launch support in the Wing mission statements.
7) Lease Complexes 36A and 17A/B to Lockheed Martin and Boeing as soon as possible. This will provide a focus on roles and responsibilities for commercial launch and provide operating experience for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle.
8) Publish a Command Instruction on commercial launch support. Solicit comment from the principal launch providers while in draft.
9) Recognize launch provider as responsible and accountable for launch operations except for public safety.
10) Certify launch providers as safety and environmental approval authorities on commercial spacecraft.
11) Form a Task Force to reconcile the government bureaucracy with commercial business practices. Work with the Boeing-led joint investment team.
12) Adopt "24 hrs or less" as the Command standard for response to launch schedule change requests. Encourage inter-active and management by exception scheduling.
13) Transfer the Range scheduling function to a contractor and place the AF in the role of umpire and appeal authority.
14) Initiate a Wing/Group training program for officers involved in commercial launch, defining what they are not responsible for as well as their insight responsibilities.
15) Examine manning positions requiring AF presence during commercial launch to either reduce the requirement or add depth as appropriate.
16) Recommend to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) a legislative initiative for CSLA revision.
10.3 Public Safety
17) Sponsor an independent technical assessment by the National Academy of Sciences of AF public safety methods and processes. If possible, attempt to complete the assessment within six months so that inputs can be incorporated into the Range Modernization program. Gain the support and participation of industry and NASA.
18) Return the design criteria in EWR 127-1 to AFMC.
19) Define AFMC's role in Range safety development programs.
20) Redefine a Safety requirements implementation baseline.
10.4 Range Modernization
21) Space and Missile Systems Center establishment of a systems integrator.
22) AFSPC establish launch capacity as a key performance parameter.
23) AFSPC re-validate 1994 RSA ORD.
24) AFSPC and SMC define a process to address commercial needs.
25) AFSPC and SMC adopt a systems approach on RSA/I&M programs and requirements process.
26) AFSPC and SMC develop contingency plans to address near term problems, pending RSA completion.
27) SMC consider the Site Activation Task Force (SATAF) concept at Wing level for RSA implementation.
10.5 National Perspective
28) Adopt long-term objectives as AFSPC objectives.
29) Accept Vision as AFSPC Vision.
Appendix 1 Acronyms
Appendix 2 Glossary of Terms
Baikonur Cosmodrome. Supports Proton, Zenit, Energia and Tsyklon SL-11 activities. Offers nine launch complexes with 15 pads.
Commercial Space Industry Leaders' Conference. A bi-annual conference between government agencies involved in space launch and commercial space launch industry leaders. The forum was originally designed to build trust and confidence between government and industry.
Commercial Space Launch Act. Now the Commercial Space Act of 1998, Public Law 105-303.
Commercial Space Operations Support Agreement. A standardized agreement between commercial space companies and the Air Force which describe support of commercial space company activities, allocation of risk, financial arrangements and safety, security and environmental compliance requirements.
Core Competency. The basic areas of expertise or the specialties that the Air Force brings to any activity across the spectrum of military operations.
Core Crew. The "core crew" consists of 50-60 persons at he ER and 10-20 persons at the WR specifically tasked with rapidly reconfiguring the most labor intensive range hardware subsystems.
CREATE Teams. The Commercial Space Advocacy Committee (CSAC) was established in 1991 to provide a forum for Eastern Range (ER) and Western Range (WR) customers to discuss concerns and issues with senior management of the 45th Space Wing (45 SW) and the 30th Space Wing (30 SW). The wing commander chairs the CSAC. Under the overall direction of the CSAC, the wings have organized government/industry subcommittees to resolve customer concerns of both existing and potential customers. These subcommittees report to the CSAC, which is composed of senior wing management and key commercial customers. Customer participation is an essential component of this process. Collectively, this process is referred to as the Customer Relations Enhancement Activity Team (CREATE).
Current Launch Schedule and Review Board. A semi-annual scheduling forum chaired by AFSPC/CV and attended by senior officers, program managers and commercial representatives from the launch community. The purpose of the CLSRB is to review and approve the three-year SLM and identify any conflicts that would limit the ability to execute the 30th and 45th launch schedule. The forum also represents an opportunity for senior leaders in the launch community to discuss any issues associated with launch, range or scheduling operations. The CLSRB formally re-baselines the three-year launch schedule by approving the executable CLS, launch queue for months 19 - 36 of the SLM and releasing excess capacity for use by commercial launch operators.
Direct Budget Authority. Funds directly programmed to pay for goods, services, and equipment.
Eastern Range. Headquartered at Patrick AFB (PAFB), 45 SW conducts space and missile launch operations from the central East Coast of Florida. 45 SW instrumentation sites are located at the John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Cape Canaveral Air Station (CCAS), Cocoa Beach Tracking Annex, PAFB, Melbourne Beach Optical Tracking Annex, Malabar, Jonathan Dickinson Missile Tracking Annex, Antigua Auxiliary Airfield in the eastern Caribbean Sea, and Ascension Island in the south Atlantic Ocean. For northerly space launches, the ER extends north to Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada. Launch sites on CCAS are capable of supporting launch azimuths from 34( to 112(. In conjunction with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and other DoD resources, the ER provides continuous coverage over a broad portion of the Atlantic Ocean in support of Naval Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) test launches and space launches.
Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle. EELV is a family of spacelift vehicles employing common components that is capable of deploying the full range of government payloads to orbit from medium (Delta) to heavy (Titan IV) class payloads. The system will provide inexpensive, responsive and reliable spacelift using existing facilities and evolved, improved hardware to the maximum possible extent.
Improvement and Modernization. Category of sustainment projects managed by the SPO to meet AFSPC prioritized needs. Normally addressing systems with severe sustainment problems or with new requirements.
Job Order Cost Accounting System. Air Force cost accounting system used to collect cost data and generate billing/collection data for reimbursements.
Joint Base Operations and Support Contract. Consolidated contract that provides base support for both KSC and CCAS.
Kourou. Centre Spatial Guyanais. The most favorable major site for GEO launches due to its near-equatorial position, providing a 15% payload advantage over Cape Canaveral for eastward launches.
Major Range and Test Facility Base. The MRTFB is a national asset that shall be sized, operated, and maintained primarily for DoD T&E support missions, but also be available to all users having a valid requirement for its capabilities.
Mission Area Plan. Summary of Mission Area Strategy-to-tasks, needs, solutions and technologies.
National Mission Model. A 13-year projection of launches for DoD, commercial and civil missions from the 30th and 45th Space Wings. The model is the result of coupling initial launch requirements (facilities and range dates) with launch base capacities, range availability, funding constraints (COCOM only) and acquisition profiles (satellite and booster).
Operational Requirements Document. A document prepared by the respective using command that describes pertinent quantitative and quantitative performance, operation, and support parameters, characteristics, and requirements for a specific candidate weapon system.
Range Day. A Range day is a 24-hour block of range time dedicated to a launch, which does not need to be contiguous.
Range Standardization and Automation. A program to upgrade the capabilities of the Eastern and Western Ranges in order to enable operational space launch and test and evaluation programs to be supported as required. This includes efforts to replace existing range equipment with new systems designed for improved maintenance, reliability, and operability as well as the acquisition of new range systems to provide new capabilities.
Reimbursable Budget Authority. Portion of total obligation authority (TOA) received from "customers" for services provided.
Spaceport. Analogous to airport. Consisting of separate geographic terminals for space launch providers with management functions performed by the Air Force to include contract and financial management, flight safety, disaster preparedness, security, weather, schedule and frequency management, real estate and facilities management.
Universal Documentation System. The UDS provides a common language and format for stating requirements and preparing support responses, and is used by all the National ranges.
Western Range. Headquartered at Vandenberg AFB (VAFB), 30 SW conducts West Coast space and missile launches from the central coast of California. 30 SW instrumentation sites are located along the pacific coast at Pillar Point Air Station (AS), VAFB, Anderson Peak, Santa Ynez Peak, Laguna Peak, and on the Hawaiian Islands. The WR supports southern trajectory space launches capable of achieving polar orbits. Launch sites on VAFB are capable of supporting launch azimuths from 153.6( to 281(. In conjunction with other MRTFB Ranges, the WR provides continuous instrumentation coverage for ballistic missile test launches into target areas in the Pacific Ocean. Additionally, the WR provides complementary coverage and operational support for the West Coast Offshore Operating Area (WCOOA), creating an aeronautical and guided/unguided missile test corridor along the Pacific coast from the Mexican border to the Canadian border. The Joint Pacific Area Scheduling Office (JPASO), a DoD chartered scheduling agency, serves as the central point of contact for scheduling resource requirements.
X-33/X-34. Advanced technology demonstrator vehicles with a mission to validate new technologies and reduce the risk for construction of the reusable launch vehicle,VentureStar.
Xiachang. Xiachang Satellite Launch Center. Has two separate launch pads which support Long March II activities.