Predicting Failures and Measuring Remaining Equipment Life on Highly Reliable Aerospace Equipment: The Prognostic Analysis’ Completed on Boeing and Orbital Spacecraft
by Len Losik Ph.D
Describes the author as Boeing’s Global Positioning System (GPS) Space and Ground Segment Manager reporting to the GPS Program Office personnel responsible for the launch and on orbit operations of GPS Block I satellites who were responsible for getting the U.S. Air Force’s GPS program funded by the Department of Defense while competing against 2 existing and well funded space based navigation systems supporting the U.S. Navy’s ballistic missile submarine fleet. The author won funding from the DoD by developing and using predictive analytics (now called PHM technology) to identify the presence of non-repeatable transient events (NRTE) in normal and abnormal appearing engineering data from electrical and electro-mechanical satellite subsystem equipment such as the GPS satellite’s rubidium and cesium frequency standards on the 12 on-orbit Boeing/U.S. Air Force GPS Block I satellites and on Orbital/U.c. Berkeley/NASA’s low earth orbiting satellite known as NASA’s Extreme Ultra-Violet Explorer (EUVE) that re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere and burned in Egypt in 2002. The EUVE was a sister ship to the NASA Hubble space telescope whose primary mission is to study the universe in visible light. Now called prognostics and health management or PHM technology, the author independently developed predictive algorithms (he originally named failure prediction process or FPP) for use with extremely corrupted equipment performance and engineering data from orbiting satellites and launch vehicles on the pad and during ascent using the Air Force’s ground based satellite control resources to win funding for the GPS program by the Department of Defense. Now called PHM, PHM was first used by the author to predict on-board GS satellite atomic frequency standard failures for replacement on the initial GPS constellation of MEO satellites that were operating in a 12,000 mile/12 hour Earth orbit inclined 63 degrees for achieving the highest GPS system wide performance during multi-military service testing and DoD missions. The author used the 12 Boeing Block 1 GPS satellites to win funding from the department of defense resulting in two follow-on contracts for Boeing for 40 additional GPS satellites and then 12 more for a total of $4.5B. With the GPS program funded by the DoD, the two existing Navy satellite-based navigation and timing programs called TIMATION and TRANSIT were eventually retired. The author includes his results from his 26-year research program on the U.S. Air Force’s GPS program and Orbital/NASA/U.C. Berkeley Space Science Laboratory’s EUVE satellite to identify the source and reliability of the non repeatable transient events (NRTE) to predict with 100% certainty, satellite subsystem and launch vehicle avionics equipment failures so that the equipment would be replaced prior to launch or stop surprise equipment failures that put spacecrfat at high risk continuously. This book documents the author’s 26 year research program on both the 12 Boeing/Air Force’s GPS satellites and NASA’s satellite proving that PHM technology could stop premature subsystem equipment failures that plague the space and defense industry’s highly reliable systems whose builders and owners rely on probability analysis to quantify equipment reliability. PHM has been adapted by the author to predict terrorists at airports, astronauts that will become mentally ill on future deep space missions and catastrophic failures of rockets taking tourists to space and premature product failures in any industry that uses probability analysis to produce either hardware or software products reducing returns to below 1%. For more history and results for using PHM analysis in spacecraft design and test, the author has written and published “The Space Flight History of PHM Technology”.
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