Date of Award

January 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Space Studies

First Advisor

James G. Casler


This thesis serves to develop a preliminary foundational methodology for evaluating the static complexity of future lunar oxygen production systems when extensive information is not yet available about the various systems under consideration. Evaluating static complexity, as part of a overall system complexity analysis, is an important consideration in ultimately selecting a process to be used in a lunar base. When system complexity is higher, there is generally an overall increase in risk which could impact the safety of astronauts and the economic performance of the mission. To evaluate static complexity in lunar oxygen production, static complexity is simplified and defined into its essential components. First, three essential dimensions of static complexity are investigated, including interconnective complexity, strength of connections, and complexity in variety. Then a set of methods is developed upon which to separately evaluate each dimension. Q-connectivity analysis is proposed as a means to evaluate interconnective complexity and strength of connections. The law of requisite variety originating from cybernetic theory is suggested to interpret complexity in variety. Secondly, a means to aggregate the results of each analysis is proposed to create holistic measurement for static complexity using the Single Multi-Attribute Ranking Technique (SMART). Each method of static complexity analysis and the aggregation technique is demonstrated using notional data for four lunar oxygen production processes.