Process management for avionics – Guide for defining and performing highly accelerated tests in avionic systems
|Publication Date:||1 November 2006|
|ICS Code (Production. Production management):||03.100.50|
|ICS Code (Electronic components in general):||31.020|
Scope and object
In an increasingly harsh economic context (tighter performance requirements, shorter development cycles, reduced cost of ownership, etc.), it is essential to ensure product maturity rapidly and, in any case, by the time of commissioning.
It is with a view to remedying shortcomings in traditional development methods that "highly accelerated" tests have been developed. The main underlying principle behind this new type of test strategy is as follows: rather than reasoning in terms of conformity with a specification and simply performing conventional tests, we on the contrary attempt to push the product to its limits by applying environmental stresses and/or stimuli of levels higher than the specification. The aim is thus to take full advantage of current technologies, by eliminating defects which generate potential failures, as of the first prototypes.
A well-conducted accelerated test process should, in a relatively short time, lead to a significant increase in the robustness of a product, as early as the initial prototypes stage at the beginning of the development phase, thus accelerating early maturity of this product. Furthermore, identification of the margins available on a "mature" product helps design and size its future environmental stress screening profile more accurately, by increasing the severity of the loadings applied to just what is needed, leading to a particularly significant boost in the efficiency of this environmental stress screening process.
The object of this PAS 1) is to specify the targets assigned to the highly accelerated tests, their basic principle, their scope of application and their implementation procedures.
This guide is thus a methodological document aimed at facilitating drafting of the specification and then performance of highly accelerated tests by the programme managers.
It is primarily intended for programme managers, designers, test managers, and RAMS experts.
This guide concerns all programmes, in particular aeronautical, space and armaments programmes. It primarily concerns the industrial firms in charge of designing, developing and producing components built for these programmes, but also their customers who, in drafting contractual clauses, may require that their suppliers implement highly accelerated tests.
The recommendation applies to all types of equipment used in systems developed in these programmes, whatever their nature (electronic, electromechanical, mechanical, electrohydraulic, electro-pneumatic, etc.) and whatever their size, from "low-level" subassemblies (PCBs, mechanical assemblies, connectors, etc.), up to components or component groups.
NOTE Presently, there are no documentary standards for highly accelerated tests. This recommendation thus relies on a number of documents which are not standards, which are of various origins and which are usually very recent, as well as on other more standard documents, but not specifically dedicated to highly accelerated tests.
1) Proposed by a working group comprising representatives of the aeronautical, space and armaments industries (customers and suppliers), as well as representatives of laboratories specialising in testing.