A case study in estimating avionics availability from field reliability data

Under incentivized contractual mechanisms such as availability-based contracts, the support service provider and its customer must share a common understanding of equipment reliability baselines. Emphasis is typically placed on the information technology-related solutions for capturing, processing and sharing vast amounts of data. In the case of repairable fielded items, scant attention is paid to the pitfalls within the modelling assumptions that are often endorsed uncritically and seldom made explicit during field reliability data analysis. This paper presents a case study in which good practices in reliability data analysis are identified and applied to real-world data with the aim of supporting the effective execution of a defence avionics availability-based contract. The work provides practical guidance on how to make a reasoned choice between available models and methods based on the intelligent exploration of the data available in practical industrial applications.