This paper describes a quantitative methodology for bounding the false positive (FP) and false negative (FN) probabilities associated with a human-rated launch vehicle abort trigger (AT) that includes sensor data qualification (SDQ). In this context, an AT is a hardware and software mechanism designed to detect the existence of a specific abort condition. Also, SDQ is an algorithmic approach used to identify sensor data suspected of being corrupt so that suspect data does not adversely affect an AT’s detection capability. The FP and FN methodologies presented here were developed to support estimation of the probabilities of loss of crew and loss of mission for the Space Launch System (SLS) which is being developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The paper provides a brief overview of system health management as being an extension of control theory; and describes how ATs and the calculation of FP and FN probabilities relate to this theory. The discussion leads to a detailed presentation of the FP and FN methodology and an example showing how the FP and FN calculations are performed. This detailed presentation includes a methodology for calculating the change in FP and FN probabilities that result from including SDQ in the AT architecture. To avoid proprietary and sensitive data issues, the example incorporates a mixture of open literature and fictitious reliability data. Results presented in the paper demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach in providing quantitative estimates that bound the probability of a FP or FN abort determination.
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false positive detection, false negative detection
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