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Additionally, HST Program Office continuous improvement initiatives have dramatically increased the amount of science data the telescope gathers while reducing cost. For example, new detectors have increased the volume of science data the instrument captures by 1,200 percent. At the same time, productivity improvements have allowed management to hold data capture cost to 80 percent6 of data capture cost incurred in previous years. The net result has improved science data cost-efficiency by 1,500 percent. (See Appendix B for a description of continuous improvement initiatives and performance metric data.)

For FY 2000 and later, the HST Program Office expects to realize further gains in science data efficiency. The program plans to install new, advanced instruments that will enable the telescope to examine larger areas of the sky with greater resolution. At the same time, Vision 2000 will maintain operating cost reductions. Management estimates the net effect will increase productivity by 3,000 percent.7

6 For FY 1998, the budgeted amount was $184 million. For FY 1992, the budgeted amount was $237 million. The ratio of FY 1998 costs to FY 1992 costs is .8 ($184million/$237million).

7 The HST Program Office estimates that science data volume will triple after the installation of the advanced camera instrument on servicing mission 3. Management applied an improvement factor of 2 to the 1,500 science data efficiency factor the program experienced through FY 1998. This calculation yields an estimated improvement of 3,000 percent after servicing mission 3.


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