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A Function-Based Methodology for Analyzing Critical Events

[+] Author Affiliations
Ryan S. Hutcheson, Daniel A. McAdams, Robert B. Stone

University of Missouri at Rolla, Rolla, MO

Irem Y. Tumer

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Paper No. DETC2006-99535, pp. 1193-1204; 12 pages
  • ASME 2006 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 1: 32nd Design Automation Conference, Parts A and B
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, September 10–13, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4255-X | eISBN: 0-7918-3784-X
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


The objective of this research was to develop a function-based method for analyzing the critical sequences of events that must occur for complex space missions to be successful. The resulting methodology, the Function-based Analysis of Critical Events, or FACE, uses functional and event models to identify the changes in functionality of a system as it transitions between critical mission events. Two examples are presented that detail the application of FACE to prior mission failures including the loss of the Columbia orbiter and the failure of the Mars Polar Lander probe. The result of the research is a methodology that allows designers to not only reduce the occurrence of such failures but also analyze the specific functional causes of the failures when they do occur.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME
Topics: Failure , Probes



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