The purpose of the Concept Screening and Scoring was to determine the key criteria necessary to meeting the Team’s design goals for the AEV. Furthermore, once established, the criteria were used to rank each design candidate and determine the concept designs most likely to succeed going forward.
Below are the success criteria selected for screening and scoring and their brief descriptions:
- Balance and Stability – Stability and balance when hanging from the rail
- Mass of Materials – Number and size of parts used
- Clearance – Amount of interference with moving parts such as propellers
- Aerodynamics – Amount of wind resistance and compactness of design
- Clutter – Difficulty in fitting all components onto AEV
- Durability – Apparent fragility of parts
Concept screening first allowed the group to eliminate those designs that were clearly sub-optimal and hone in on the concepts that were most promising. This was accomplished by rating each concept design according to the criteria and comparing those ratings against the baseline AEV design. Table 1 shows that the Tessa Design was sub-optimal, while the Norbert and Keith designs were rated above the baseline.
Concept scoring took the analysis further by assigning a weight to each success criterion. Designs were then scored on a 1-5 scale and a weighted average of the concept calculated. The scoring matrix below reinforces the screening, showing that the Norbert and Keith designs received the highest scores. These two designs were carried forward into Advanced R&D testing.