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Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Probabilistic Safety Assessment & Management (PSAM)

Editor
Michael G. Stamatelatos
Michael G. Stamatelatos
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Harold S. Blackman
Harold S. Blackman
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ISBN-10:
0791802442
No. of Pages:
2576
Publisher:
ASME Press
Publication date:
2006

A top-down risk assessment in the early phases of space exploration architecture development can provide understanding and intuition of the potential risks associated with new designs and technologies. In this approach, risk analysts draw from their past experience and the heritage of similar existing systems as a source for reliability data. This top-down approach captures the complex interactions of the risk driving parts of the integrated system without requiring detailed knowledge of the parts themselves, which is often unavailable in the early design stages.

Traditional probabilistic risk analysis (PRA) technologies, however, suffer several drawbacks that limit their timely application to complex technology development programs. The most restrictive of these is a dependence on static planning scenarios, expressed through fault and event trees. Fault trees incorporating comprehensive mission scenarios are routinely constructed for complex space systems, and several commercial software products are available for evaluating fault statistics. These static representations cannot capture the dynamic behavior of system failures without substantial modification of the initial tree. Consequently, the development of dynamic models using fault tree analysis has been an active area of research in recent years.

This paper discusses the implementation and demonstration of dynamic, modular scenario modeling for integration of subsystem fault evaluation modules using the Space Architecture Failure Evaluation (SAFE) tool. SAFE is a C++ code that was originally developed to support NASA's Space Launch Initiative. It provides a flexible framework for system architecture definition and trade studies. SAFE supports extensible modeling of dynamic, time-dependent risk drivers of the system and functions at the level of fidelity for which design and failure data exists. The approach is scalable, allowing inclusion of additional information as detailed data becomes available. The tool performs a Monte Carlo analysis to provide statistical estimates.

Example results of an architecture system reliability study are summarized for an exploration system concept using heritage data from liquid-fueled expendable Saturn V/Apollo launch vehicles.

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