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Large adaptive reflector : actuator analysis Preidt, Casey Daniel

Abstract

As traditional engineering practices have focused more towards deterministic design it does not leave a lot to be desired in terms of performance and service life. Typically, traditional engineering practice uses a capacity approach in that one or more key failure modes are determined to be the governing mode of failure and the design was performed such that these particular failure modes would be prevented. In doing so, engineers assumed that many of the parameters used in design, such as mass, ultimate strength, etc, were absolute; however, many of these parameters have a large amount of variability and should not be assumed to be absolute so quickly. From this perspective comes reliability engineering. Reliability engineering takes into account these probabilities and incorporates them into a useable form of analysis. With reliability engineering many different possible modes of failure are effectively examined giving more depth to the design. Today's engineers are slowly beginning to realize the effectiveness of reliability engineering as a design tool and decision-making tool as well. In this paper it is the goal of the author to present the usefulness of performing reliability analyses in a non-academic scenario. Reliability engineering will be shown as an important tool for both design and decision-making. To illustrate this point a case study was performed involving the actuation system of a large radio telescope, the Large Adaptive Reflector (LAR), to be constructed in Penticton, BC. Several different actuation solutions were considered in depth, both in practical design and long-term reliability. By using such parameters such as; practicality, cost, both short-term (production costs) and long-term costs (maintenance costs), and long term reliability an appropriate actuation will be chosen using decision-making methods. It is hoped that actuations system chosen in this comparative study will be constructed into a prototype for further evaluation.

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