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Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) needs quantitative tools to assist it in making decisions on how changes in the dollars invested in maintenance and sustainment of the ground segment of space systems affect the operational performance of those systems. This monograph outlines criteria for analyzing how sustainment investments affect the operational performance of space systems, focusing on the Global Positioning System. We offer a framework for such analyses and recommend steps to implement that framework.

We describe the Global Positioning System at a level of detail needed for the analysis; discuss how to approach modeling the relationships between sustainment activities and overall system performance, and describe a pilot model for such analysis; and we examine the results of this model and how they might be used in policy analysis, and discuss the implications for developing such models in GPS and other programs. We selected a metric of performance that reflects the overall system performance, and not one that focuses on the performance of a specific subsystem.

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The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Air Force and conducted by RAND Project AIR FORCE.

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