Master Scheduling and Tracking Aircraft Upgrades

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This paper addresses upgrading the United States Marine Corps' Harrier II AV-8B, a Vertical/Short Take-Off and Landing (V/STOL) light attack aircraft used for close air support of ground troops. It also applies to a broad class of other acquisition problems. A Master Scheduling and Tracking Decision Support System has been developed for evaluation by the Program Management Air (PMA-257) Joint Program Office.(For agnostics and the more curious souls among us, a closed form of this general analytic summation expression for daverage for a discrete random variable with a triangular distribution can be obtained as follows. From the first expression given in Appendix I, section 2 above, generate the factorial polynomials (analogous to the Taylor series expansions) for the terms in both summations. Then compute the antidifference (the discrete analog of a definite integral) for each of these polynomials over the ranges of the original summations. Voila!) It attempts to make the original aircraft update scheduling task and subsequent rescheduling more manageable and at the same time to produce better quality schedules in terms of operational fleet downtime. Upgrade scheduling is formulated as an integer-programming problem that can be solved using computer spreadsheets and readily available commercial off the shelf (COTS) software. By explicitly including funding constraints, production constraints and requirements, opportunities for economies from common installation setups, and degradation of fleet operational readiness due to scheduled aircraft downtime; it effectively integrates the interests of the four principle stakeholders in the master scheduling process. The resulting master schedules are not only feasible; within the context of the model they are optimal by a fleet-readiness criterion. A key feature of the methodology is that schedules, subordinate plans, and associated resource requirements all can be quickly revised when required. The methodology can be used to generate both aggregate plans for intermediate time horizons and detailed master schedules for shorter horizons. An illustration schedule was generated in four seconds on a 233 MHz Pentium II desktop computer.
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