Quantification of Margins and Uncertainties for Integrated Spacecraft Systems Models (2014)


Thomas West IV, Serhat Hosder, Tyler Winter


The objective of this study was to introduce an efficient and accurate approach to the quantification of margins and uncertainties for integrated spacecraft systems models. In this study, stochastic expansions, based on nonintrusive polynomial chaos, were used for efficient representation of uncertainty both in design metrics and associated performance limits of a system. Additionally, procedures were outlined for analyzing systems that contain different uncertainty types between the performance metrics and performance limits. These methodologies were demonstrated on two model problems, each possessing mixed (epistemic and aleatory) uncertainty, which was propagated through the models using second-order probability. The first was a complex system model of highly nonlinear analytical functions. The second was a coupled multisystem, physics-based model for spacecraft reentry. The performance metrics consisted of two systems used to determine the maximum g load, the necessary bank angle correction, and maximum convective heat load along a reentry trajectory. Overall, the methodologies and examples of this work have detailed an efficient approach for measuring the reliability of complex spacecraft systems models, as well as the importance of quantifying margins and uncertainties for the design of reliable systems.