Uncertainty Considerations for Ballistic Limit Equations for Aerospace Structural Systems


The overall risk for any spacecraft system is typically determined using a Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA). A PRA determines the overall risk associated with a particular mission by factoring in all known risks to the spacecraft during its mission. The threat to mission and human life posed by the mircro-meteoroid and orbital debris (MMOD) environment is one of the risks. NASA uses the BUMPER II program to provide point estimate predictions of MMOD risk for the Space Shuttle and the ISS. However, BUMPER II does not provide uncertainty bounds or confidence intervals for its predictions. In this paper, we present possible approaches through which uncertainty bounds can be developed for the various damage prediction and ballistic limit equations encoded within the Shuttle and Station versions of BUMPER II.

Meeting Name

2005 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Probabilistic Risk Assessment; Ballistic Limits; Micro-Meteoroid and Orbital Debris Environment; Predicting Damage

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2005 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Nov 2005