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Statistical Engineering Perspective on Planetary Entry, Descent, and Landing Research

Summary: Statistical engineering emphasizes developing and leveraging statistical methods and tools to help identify and solve large, complex problems. Within NASA, these large, complex problems are known as the agency’s "Grand Challenges." Research in planetary entry, descent, and landing technologies is one of these challenges and is an expensive, resource-intensive endeavor that benefits from the rigorous approach of statistical engineering. This article highlights the contributions of statistical engineering to the Mars Science Laboratory mission and, more generally, planetary entry, descent, and landing research. For example, a new approach utilizing response surface methods was developed for characterizing a complex measurement system. In addition, we reflect on areas where early implementation of a statistical engineering approach can increase the overall impact of the research objectives.

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  • Topics: Statistics
  • Keywords: Design of experiments (DOE), Measurement system, Regression, Response surface methodology (RSM), Statistical engineering
  • Author: Commo, Sean A.; Parker, Peter A.
  • Journal: Quality Engineering