Critical failure mode analysis of the Petite Amateur Navy Satellite (PANSAT)
Alldridge, David W.
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System reliability analysis is an essential element is the design process. A reliability study should proceed from system inception through final deployment. As the PANSAT project approaches the final design stage and begins initial flight production, the absence of any significant reliability analysis becomes increasingly troubling. This thesis initiates the program's reliability analysis obligation by investigating spacecraft failure modes. Typically referenced as critical failure modes, these events will cause complete and permanent system failure. A reliability analysis tool, called Fault Tree Analysis (FTA), is used to conduct a systematic review of current hardware design architecture to expose potential critical failure points or weak links. The analytical result is a Boolean logic tree that describes critical failure events and all the potential causes. This causal output relationship describes each component failure (i.e., single point failures), or component failure combinations (i.e., multi-point failures), which could cause the undesirable failure event, or Top Event. The fault tree will provide design engineers and management personnel with an effective tool and reference point from which to implement design modifications to circumvent potential porblems.
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