Current research programs are summarized in the
Systems Cost Modeling Laboratory web pages. The research programs focus on the analysis of complex electronic
systems, and specifically the packaging and interconnection technologies
associated with the physical implementation of the systems.
Specific ongoing research includes:
Electronic Part Obsolescence (DMSMS)
- Also known as DMSMS (Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and
Material Shortages); we develop algorithms for forecasting
electronic part obsolescence dates, support a tool called MOCA for
performing design refresh planning systems, perform optimization of
lifetime buys, and aid organizations in performing DMSMS plan
Prognostics and Health Management (PHM) for Electronic Systems -
Development of decision models that determines when scheduled
maintenance makes good business sense, i.e., makes possible a
business objective such as a balance of cost and availability. The
models calculate the return on investment associated with applying
PHM to systems and enable the optimal interpretation of life
consumption monitoring damage accumulation or health monitoring
precursor data, and applies to failure events that appear to be
random or appear to be clearly caused by defects.
Ramifications of Lead-Free Solder - Development of economic models for
determining the cost of transitioning from tin-lead solder to
lead-free solder including the risk of tin whiskers. Also
developing simulation tools for understanding the cost and
availability ramifications of supporting a mixture of tin-lead and
lead-free systems (dynamic lead-free repair simulation), and the
repair consequences of using lead-free solder.
Cost of Ownership of Electronic Parts - Determination of the
total cost of ownership of electronic parts including the cost of
part selection and qualification, supporting the part in databases,
purchase order generation, assembly (including test and rework)
associated with the part, field use costs associated with the part
(repairs and spares), and the cost of long-term supply chain
disruptions (including obsolescence).
Throwaway Electronics - The high rate of
technology change that characterizes electronic parts, subsystems and
software has made the vast majority of electronic products disposable
commodities. The idea of
disposable (or throwaway) electronics is accepted for consumer
products, and as a result the supply chain that supports these
products is driven by it. However,
a disposable electronics policy at the assembly level would represent
a considerable departure from common wisdom for the aerospace industry
(e.g., avionics and military electronics).
Aerospace adopted an assembly-level repair maintenance culture
for a variety of reasons that include technical, business, contractual
and legal. However, by
doing so they adopted a “culture” (policy) that is orthogonal to
the underlying assumptions that their COTS supply chain is based on,
thus creating a host of unique (and ultimately very expensive)
problems for themselves. This
project addresses throwaway at both the product level and industry-base level.
End of Repair (EOR) Analysis - Develop a method
of calculating the effective End-of-Repair (EOR) date for systems
composed of multiple assemblies where each assembly has multiple parts
and parts may appear within more than one assembly.
EOR is the last date on which the system (or specific
individual assemblies within the system) can be supported.
The methodology uses data from a FRACAS (Failure Reporting and
Corrective Action System), the state of existing parts inventories,
and the obsolescence status of the individual parts to determine
application-specific EORs. The
resulting analysis is not intended to be used to perform a single
static evaluation, but rather provide the capability to continuously
generate an EOR metric that can be used to monitor the sustainability
of a system.
The following are significant research programs or research areas that have been concluded:
Electronic Packaging (Life Cycle Costing and Reliability)
Passives (NIST ATP) - Develop and apply detailed cost models for substrates
with embedded passives. Using the models developed within this program,
compare the economics of applications implemented with discrete passives to
implementation using embedded passives.
of Failure Approach to Sustainable Electronic Systems (PASES) (USAF ManTech)
- Decrease life cycle costs by managing life cycle risks associated with
the design and manufacturing of sustainable military electronic systems by
instituting a cradle-to-grave Physics of Failure (PoF) based program as a
pro-active approach to achieving system reliability, manufacturability,
technology risk management, and affordability. This program
integrates PoF based virtual qualification of systems with detailed
life cycle cost modeling that includes models for assessing the
economic impact of reliability and obsolescence.
Advanced Electrical Power Systems
(Office of Navel Research) - AEPS refers to
a packaging concept that replaces complex power electronics circuits with
a single multi-function device which is intelligent and/or programmable.
For example, depending on the application, a AEPS might be software configured
to act as an AC to DC rectifier, DC to AC inverter, motor controller, actuator,
frequency changer, circuit breaker etc. Our role in this program is
the development of technical cost modeling, its application to AEPS structures, and its integration into a multi-attribute optimization
environment (with thermal, reliability, and mechanical analyses).
- Design for Environment (Environmental Economics)
The Salvage Software Tool
- Allows optimization of a product who's life cycle includes a primary
build, disassembly, and a secondary build using a combination of new and
salvaged parts. Includes material used and wasted inventories coupled
with detailed cost modeling.
PWB Fabrication Cost and
Energy/Mass Balance Modeling (DARPA) - Development of a
material-centric printed wiring board (PWB) fabrication model in which each
activity or process step is defined in terms of what it does to the materials
associated with the substrate being fabricated. The model has been
applied to conventional and photovia PWBs.
Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS)
Technology (NASA JPL) - evaluate the manufacturing processes associated
with fabricating advanced high-frequency modules composed of a combination
of micromachined and electronic solid state components (Si/Ge HBTs). Evaluation
of the manufacturing processes includes identification of the process steps,
evaluating compatibility of the necessary processing, cost analysis, and
MEMS Packaging and Reliability
Assessment (NSWC Indian Head) - identify and document the dominant defects,
failure mechanisms, failure modes, and failure sites in a specific MEMS supplied
by the Naval Surface Warfare Center (Indian Head, MD). The critical system
features include chip-to-chip bonding, a MEMS chip fabricated using the LIGA
process, and system packaging (Kovar can and plastic quad flat pack).