Using Telemetry to Measure Equipment Mission Life on the NASA Orion Spacecraft for Increasing Astronaut Safety
Prognostic Analysis Predicting Failures
Calculating Remaining Usable Life
Measuring Remaining Usable Life
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AbstractThe surprise failure of two NASA Space Shuttles and the premature failures of satellite subsystem equipment on NASA satellites are motivating NASA to adopt an engineering discipline that uses telemetry specifically developed for preventing surprise equipment failures. The NASA Orion spacecraft is an Apollo module-like capsule planned to replace the NASA Space Shuttle reusable launch vehicle for getting astronauts to space and return to the earth safely as well as a crew escape vehicle stored at the ISS. To do so, NASA is adopting a non-Markov reliability paradigm for measuring equipment life based on the prognostic and health management program on the Air Force F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The decision is based on the results from the prognostic analysis completed on the Space Shuttle Challenger and Columbia that identified the information that was present but was ignored for a variety of reasons. The goal of a PHM is to produce equipment that will not fail prematurely. It includes using predictive algorithms to measure equipment usable life. Equipment with transient behavior caused from accelerated of parts will fail prematurely with 100% certainty. For many decades, it was believed that test equipment and software used to in testing and noise from communications equipment were the cause of most transient behavior. With the processing speed of today's processors, transient behavior is caused from at least one part suffering from accelerated aging. Transient behavior is illustrated in equipment telemetry in a prognostic analysis. Telemetry is equipment performance information and equipment performance has been used to increase reliability, but performance is unrelated to equipment remaining usable life and so equipment should be failing prematurely. A PHM requires equipment telemetry for analysis and so analog telemetry will be available from all Orion avionics equipment. Replacing equipment with a measured remaining usable life of less than one year will stop the premature and surprise equipment failures from occurring during future manned and unmanned space missions.
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