Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Probabilistic Safety Assessment & Management (PSAM)
Aerospace: Flight Trajectory Risk Assessment
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Manned launch vehicle systems require a launch abort capability to improve the probability of survival of the crew during ascent. For the Apollo/Saturn V launch system, four different modes of launch abort were possible, depending upon the time of abort during ascent. Computational models were developed for each Apollo launch abort mode. Nominal abort trajectories computed using the models were compared against available data. The models were then used in a Monte Carlo simulation to determine the failure probabilities for each abort mode and the overall abort landing process. Direct computation and design of experiments approaches were used in the Monte Carlo simulation. The failure data were integrated into a probabilistic risk analysis of the overall launch abort process.