Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Probabilistic Safety Assessment & Management (PSAM)
Aerospace: Phased Mission Analysis I
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As part of a series of papers on the topic of advance probabilistic methods, a benchmark phased-mission problem has been suggested. This problem consists of modeling a space mission using an ion propulsion system, where the mission consists of seven mission phases. The mission requires that the propulsion operate for several phases, where the configuration changes as a function of phase. The ion propulsion system itself consists of five thruster assemblies and a single propellant supply, where each thruster assembly has one propulsion power unit and two ion engines. In this paper, we evaluate the probability of mission failure using the conventional methodology of event tree/fault tree analysis. The event tree and fault trees are developed and analyzed using Systems Analysis Programs for Hands-on Integrated Reliability Evaluations (SAPHIRE). While the benchmark problem is nominally a “dynamic” problem, in our analysis the mission phases are modeled in a single event tree to show the progression from one phase to the next. The propulsion system is modeled in fault trees to account for the operation; or in this case, the failure of the system. Specifically, the propulsion system is decomposed into each of the five thruster assemblies and fed into the appropriate N-out-of-M gate to evaluate mission failure. A separate fault tree for the propulsion system is developed to account for the different success criteria of each mission phase. Common-cause failure modeling is treated using traditional (i.e., parametrically) methods. As part of this paper, we discuss the overall results in addition to the positive and negative aspects of modeling dynamic situations with non-dynamic modeling techniques. One insight from the use of this conventional method for analyzing the benchmark problem is that it requires significant manual manipulation to the fault trees and how they are linked into the event tree. The conventional method also requires editing the resultant cut sets to obtain the correct results. While conventional methods may be used to evaluate a dynamic system like that in the benchmark, the level of effort required may preclude its use on real-world problems.