SYST 490/495 Senior System Design Project

Fall 2001



Instructor: Dr. George L. Donohue

Office: Rm 121 S&T II

Lecture: Robinson Hall B105

Lab: Rm 16 Central Module

Office Hours: Monday 13:00 to 17:00


Suggested Text: Making Hard Decisions: with Decision Tools R.T.Clemen and T.Reilly, Duxbury, 2001


Objective:These two courses, together, provide the Capstone experience to the Systems Engineering undergraduate program.It provides the students with the opportunity to put all of the course material that you have covered in the last 4 years into practice.It also provide the faculty with the opportunity to test your ability to have assimilated the course material and certify that you are ready to receive the Bachelor of Science degree in Systems Engineering.In addition to providing you the opportunity to utilize the systems engineering processes (e.g. requirements determination, work-breakdown structures, Pert Charts, test and evaluation, life cycle costing, etc.) it will require you to use your analytical skills in system modeling, simulation and decision making.Emphasis in these courses will also be placed on written and verbal communication skill development and the creative process of engineering of design.You now have the basic skills that should allow you to create new systems that are technically sound, affordable , environmentally compatible and safe.You will be asked to determine whether a Business Case exits for your designs in the Program Proposal that you will submit in late November.You will be required to manage a complex, unstructured project using the management and teamwork skills that you have developed.The class will be designed into two to three project teams, each working a real transportation problem.†† Each student MUST maintain a personal log of all design activity, to be inspected upon demand.You MUST enter your name and the times of your lab activity on theLab sign-in sheets.


Design Projects:


Regional Air Transportation System Using a Fractional Ownership Corporation employing Eclipse 500 or Cirrus R22 aircraft.


The saturation of the commercial Hub and Spoke air transportation system is leading business travelers to employ corporate aircraft for regional travel.Recent changes in FAA regulations allow a corporation to buy and maintain aircraft in a coop with fractional ownership of up to 16 owners per aircraft.New aircraft designs are now, or will soon be, available on the market that are reasonably prices and equipped with new technology that allows for safe single pilot operation.†† Manufacturers of these new aircraft are looking to fractional ownership corporations as major buyers of their aircraft.


Develop and analyze the business case for a Fractional ownership corporation at Manassas Airport.Conduct a trade-off analysis between the Eclipse 500 and the Cirrus R22 Aircraft.Locate regional airports within a 1000 nautical mile that might be used by these aircraft and estimate potential utilization.Estimate fleets size versus time and conduct a mode-shift analysis. Conduct a Cost Ė Benefit Analysis and estimate the Net Present Value vs. time.What is the time required to reach break-even?

References and Data Sources:Eclipse Aviation, Cirrus Aircraft, Small Aircraft Manufactures Association, NASA/Langley (Dr. Bruce Holms)

GMU Campus Parking and Transportation Information System:


The parking and traffic congestion problem at GMU has been of concern for several years.Transportation officials of the university are interested in innovative solutions to help mitigate this problem.You are being asked to design a university intra-campus transportation system. You should consider an aggressive use of bicycles in your system trade space as well as an intra-campus bus shuttle. You must evaluate the current problem; peak traffic loads, parking concentrations and student traffic patterns.You must evaluate the number and location of bicycle parking facilities, the nature of the parking facilities, the number and cost/complexity/ insurance issues of buses, bicycles, and the security system.The preliminary proposal must be presented to university officials in late November for potential funding of a prototype system evaluation in the spring.Simulation and testing/evaluation will be emphasized in the spring semester.You should coordinate your work with the students in CEIE 365 (Transportation Systems) who are gathering much of this data for their class project.Prof. Mohan Venigalla is a potential resource for this design effort.




D.Mannering, F.L. and W.P. Kilareski, Principles of Highway Engineering and Traffic††† Analysis, John Wiley and Sons, 1998.

E.GMU Senior Design Final Report, Spring 2001.


Small Airport SATS Van:


NASA is conducting research on a Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS).Part of this research is to provide a self-contained sensor and signal processing suite to small airports that will allow them to be all-weather capable for a relatively small investment and low recurring operating costs.GMU is leading a multi-year research effort to design and evaluate the safety of such a system.Conduct the trade-off analysis for equipping such a van, identify candidate airports in the Boston to Miami corridor, estimate development and recurring maintenance costs.

Data Sources: Trios Associates, Harris Corp., MIT/LL, Rannoch Corp. SENSIS Corp.

Program Schedule:


Aug. 27/29. Introduction to the class.Background discussions and data exchange. Three teams will be formed based upon personal interest and required team balance.


Each team will select a Team Leader who has the best qualifications for leading the team to a successful project completion.The team should also have sub teams consisting of a: 1) process and cost analysis team and 2) an analysis/ simulation team 3) Graphics, web page design/implementation, and presentation team.Teams should insure that they have members who have completed Systems Engineering Management, Simulation and Decision Theory.It is anticipated that team leadership duties may rotate throughout the 9-month period of the project (based upon demonstrated performance and workload considerations).


Each member of the class will give a substantial presentation at some point in the project to faculty or outside project sponsors. Each student will be graded upon his/her presentation ability.The Project Proposal and the final Project Report will be graded for writing style and completeness.The total project grade will represent a sizable portion of each studentís final grade.In addition, each student will be ranked by each team member for total contribution to the program outcome. It is desirable that each team have members who have taken SYST 471 (Systems Engineering Management), SYST 473 (Decision and Risk Analysis) and OR 435 (Discrete Systems Simulation Modeling).


September 5.Finalize Team composition and Design Projects.

September 10/12. Lectures on Decision Analysis and use of Decision Analysis Software.

September 17. Present Team delegation of responsibility and Initial Requirements Analysis

October 1. Present Initial Level 3 Work Breakdown Structure, Project Time Schedule and Pert Chart.

October 15. Initial Cost Estimate. Revised Requirement Document using Decision Support and Risk Analysis software.

Nov. 5. Present Draft Formal Proposal for Investment Decision I Review TEAM A

Nov. 7. Present Draft Formal Proposal for Investment Decision I Review TEAM B

Nov. 12. Present Draft Formal Proposal for Investment Decision I Review TEAM C

Dec 3.Final Proposals submitted for Faculty evaluation

Dec 5.Final Proposal Presentations to Faculty and Project Sponsors

Dec 17. Present first semester team self evaluation and Plan for second semester.Revised Project Milestones


Grading:Each studentís final grade will be determined as follows

33% Project Proposal and Final Project report (written)

33% Team Project productivity self evaluation

20% Faculty evaluation

14% Individual presentations