Risk Analysis

Optimal Mission Abort Policy for Systems Operating in a Random Environment

Journal Article

Abstract

Many real‐world critical systems, e.g., aircrafts, manned space flight systems, and submarines, utilize mission aborts to enhance their survivability. Specifically, a mission can be aborted when a certain malfunction condition is met and a rescue or recovery procedure is then initiated. For systems exposed to external impacts, the malfunctions are often caused by the consequences of these impacts. Traditional system reliability models typically cannot address a possibility of mission aborts. Therefore, in this article, we first develop the corresponding methodology for modeling and evaluation of the mission success probability and survivability of systems experiencing both internal failures and external shocks. We consider a policy when a mission is aborted and a rescue procedure is activated upon occurrence of the mth shock. We demonstrate the tradeoff between the system survivability and the mission success probability that should be balanced by the proper choice of the decision variable m. A detailed illustrative example of a mission performed by an unmanned aerial vehicle is presented.

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