Phased mission modelling using fault tree analysis

2008-11-10T15:21:48Z (GMT) by Rachel A. La Band J.D. Andrews
Many types of system operate for missions that are made up of several phases. For the complete mission to be a success, the system must operate successfully during each of the phases. Examples of such systems include an aircraft flight, and also many military operations for both aircraft and ships. An aircraft mission could be considered as the following phases: taxiing to the runway, take-off, climbing to the correct altitude, cruising, descending, landing and taxiing back to the terminal. Component failures can occur at any point during the mission, but their condition may only be critical for one particular phase. As such, it may be that the transition from one phase to another is the critical event leading to mission failure, and the component failures resulting in the system failure may have occurred during some previous phase. This paper describes a means of analysing the reliability of non-repairable systems that undergo phased missions. Fault tree analysis (FTA) has been used as a method for assessing the system performance. The results of the analysis are the system failure modes in each phase (minimal cut sets), the failure probability in each phase and the total mission unreliability. To increase the efficiency of the analysis, the fault trees constructed to represent the system failure logic are analysed using a modularization method. Binary decision diagrams (BDDs) are then employed to quantify the likelihood of failure in each phase.