Selecting and sequencing tests in an adaptive countdown

by Richard D. Wollmer

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A consideration of the problem of creating and modifying a script for checking out a space-vehicle subsystem. Several possible tests and an expected completion time for each are given. To make the problem computationally tractable, it is assumed that interdependencies with other subsystems are small enough to be neglected, and that the different subsystem states are Markovian. A model is formulated for a script minimizing the probability that the subsystem contains a malfunction and having an expected completion time not exceeding the time allowed for the checkout. Results of the study have both analytical and physical importance in that the solution of the test-sequencing problem does not depend on the solution of the test-selection problem. Particularly applicable to countdowns, the results may also be used in checkout systems. 76 pp.

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