Function based Risk Assessment and Failure Prediction for Unmanned Space Missions


A strong need has emerged in the aerospace industry for a well-founded and effective failure prevention technique or process that can be employed during the conceptual design of high-risk aerospace systems. In this paper, we describe a methodology to support risk assessment and failure prevention during the earliest stages of spacecraft design and mission planning. The three-step procedure, an extension of the Function-Failure Design method, utilizes detailed information from existing subsystems and systematically abstracts this information to a level that can be used during conceptual design. During this process, we address the issue concerning the level at which systems containing a combination of electrical and mechanical components should be functionally modeled. The complete method is described in general before being applied to two major unmanned spacecraft subsystems.

Meeting Name

2004 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE2004 (2004: Nov. 13-19, Anaheim, CA)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Conceptual Design; Failure Prediction; Function-Failure Design; Functional Model; Risk Assessment

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2004 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

19 Nov 2004

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