Tiered Approach to Flight Safety Analysis

A flight safety analysis quantitatively demonstrates that a launch or reentry vehicle is capable of flying a proposed mission below accepted limits for risk to the uninvolved public. Over time, sophisticated methodologies have been developed to estimate the risks posed by a particular mission by probabilistically modeling the outcomes of multiple potential vehicle failure scenarios and the various influences on those outcomes to a high level of engineering fidelity. However, variations in planned operations, along with limitations in the availability or quality of data, suggest a need for the identification of a broader, more generalized approach. Accordingly, a tiered approach to flight safety analysis is explored that advocates the use of simplifying, conservative assumptions in place of complex models as an initial iteration step. Subsequent iterations, if necessary, would employ increasingly less conservative assumptions and more complex modeling techniques until either an acceptable solution is reached or the highest available level of fidelity had been applied. The advantage of such an approach is twofold in that it encourages the design of safer operations for the sake of simplicity in the analysis and it standardizes methodologies for better comparison of results and determination of uncertainties.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Pagination: 11p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01150521
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Feb 15 2010 12:46PM