Dynamic and aerodynamic load test facility : a joint project

This project focuses on the development and documentation of a case study based on the build-up, check-out, certification and testing of the Dynamic and Aerodynamic Load Test (DALT) facility. Located at the Pacific Missile Test Center (PMTC), Point Mugu, California, this one-of-a-kind test facility was constructed to support the dynamic testing of composite case rocket motors designed for long term air-launched missile applications. While this facility was originally considered to be only a small portion of the Composite Case Durability Investigation (CCDI) program, it turned out to be a major challenge that drove program schedules and costs. The CCDI effort began in April of 1984 and was scheduled for completion by September of 1987. The original cost for the Phase IV test effort was estimated at $580,000. At facility completion, in March of 1990, costs had exceeded $2 Million, and the test effort was just beginning. The scope of this final project includes a detailed look at the factors involved from planning through completion of the Phase IV full-scale test effort. The resultant identification of key factors that influenced the massive cost and schedule overruns leads to development of management strategies that may be applied in future Department of Defense multi-agency projects, thereby allowing improved performance.