Conflicting requirements for high Operational Availability (Ao) and for low Life Cycle Cost (LCC) force us into tradeoffs during design. The Logistics Support Analysis (LSA) can facilitate better design by defining Ao and LCC related design requirements and identifying when those requirements are not being met.
Like any design analysis, the LSA is an iterative process to inject and manage system support criteria during the design process. Alternative hardware designs are evaluated, quantitatively and qualitatively, relative to their impact on operational readiness/availability and on meeting logistics support specifications. Design tradeoffs are made using the results of the design analyses including the LSA. Like drawings, parts lists, and production specifications, the LSA Record (LSAR) provides the necessary logistics resource data.
The systems engineering approach necessary for effective tradeoff efforts during the design phase must be based on specified requirements as well as clearly defined concepts of operation, maintenance, and support. Of particular importance, the LSA assists in developing (1) the maintenance concept (e.g., organizational level repair as compared to removal and replacement), (2) the extent of Built-In Test (BIT) design requirements and associated impact on maintainability and reliability specifications, and (3) special supply support requirements associated with a specified Ao.
When a designer fully understands all the design requirements and constraints, there are fewer false starts. To facilitate this understanding the design engineer should have available to him, all analytical feedback on his design. The LSA is part of that feedback mechanism.
The LSA, when treated as an integral part of the systems engineering process, provides both the designers and management with the tools to affect the design to achieve a balance between cost, schedule, performance, and supportability.