The Risk in Early Design Method


Risk assessments are necessary to anticipate and prevent accidents from occurring or repeating. Current probabilistic risk assessment methods require mature design proposals to analyse. Since product safety and reliability are affected the most by decisions made during the early design phases, a risk assessment that can be performed with less mature data during these design phases is needed. This study focuses specifically on the relationship between function and risk in early design by presenting a mathematical mapping from product function to risk assessments that can be used in the conceptual design phase. An investigation of a spacecraft orientation subsystem is used to demonstrate the mappings. The results from the study and its spacecraft application yield a preliminary risk assessment method that can be used to identify and assess risks as early as the conceptual phase of design. The preliminary risk assessment presented in this paper is a tool that will aid designers by identifying risks as well as reducing the subjectivity of the likelihood and consequence value from a risk element, will provide four key risk element properties (design parameter, failure mode, likelihood, and consequence) for numerous risk elements with simple calculations, and will provide a means for inexperienced designers to effectively address risk in the conceptual design phase.


Engineering Management and Systems Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Conceptual Design Methodology; Probabilistic Risk Assessment; Product Design

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Article - Journal

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