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HEPL Seminar

Dr. Rick Fleeter
Professor at Brown University
Founder of AeroAstro, Inc.

 "The Search for Extraterrestrial Reliability
Is Reliability Engineering Engineering?"


 Abstract:  Reliability is at the core of aerospace systems design, yet does not share the analytical foundation of the other disciplines like structure or guidance and control system design.  The viability of small, lower cost and rapidly developed space missions rests on the ability to achieve reliability without resort to its classical methods - space qualified parts, heritage components, redundancy and oversight by an external quality organization.  Yet even amateur built micro/nano satellites achieve reliability comparable to or exceeding conventional systems.


The cost of conventional methods to achieve reliability, their impact on the engineering process and its results, on the development and execution of missions, and their deficiencies in practise might present our best opportunity to improve space systems utility, reduce cost and schedule and improve reliability.    Can alternative perspectives  teach us what are alternative approaches to reliability and when they might be applicable to space systems?   Are there existing models for reliability that could be adapted to space engineering?   How would we work differently using a different approach to reliability?  The seminar is a starting point to ask the questions, review some ways current methods may fail us, and review a few potential alternatives.


Location: Physics and Astrophysics Building, Conference Rooms 102/103

Wednesday, January 14, 2009, 4:00 to 5:30 pm

Light refreshments available 4pm; Presentation begins 4:15pm. Open to all.



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