On the Estimation of Space Launch Vehicle Reliability1
Volume 9, Number 6, November 2013 - Paper 04 - pp. 619-631
SERGIO GUARROThe Aerospace Corporation,
2310 E. El Segundo Blvd., El Segundo, CA 90245-4691, USA
(Received on February 11, 2013, revised on February 28, 2013 and July 16, 2013)
The paper reviews the common definitions of reliability that are relevant to launch vehicles (LVs) and discusses their theoretical and practical interpretations. The paper then proceeds to a discussion of the data and methods available for reliability estimation at various LV system maturity stages, presenting examples of results and estimations obtained by past and recent studies. This leads to practical considerations concerning the meaning of typical reliability estimations that are generated in common space industry practice, and their degree of correspondence and consistency with the theoretical definitions of the parameters they seek to quantify. Final observations and comments are drawn from these considerations.
1. This paper is the product of the author’s personal experience and interest in the topic of launch vehicle reliability. Neither the paper as a whole or any of its specific contents represents an official position of The Aerospace Corporation
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