Keynote Speakers at ASTR Workshop Share Accelerated Testing Applications for NASA Missions

Keynote Speakers at ASTR Workshop Share Accelerated Testing Applications for NASA Missions

2-minute read
ASTR Keynote

NASA has helped lead the way for risk-informed accelerated stress testing on spaceflight parts and assemblies. It is fitting then that two NASA Reliability representatives were selected as keynote speakers for the 2014 IEEE Accelerated Stress Testing & Reliability (ASTR) Workshop held on Sept. 10-12 in St. Paul, Minnesota.

NASA Reliability and Maintainability (R&M) Manager John Evans and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Principal Engineer for Quality Assurance Reza Ghaffarian kicked off the 2014 ASTR Workshop on Sept. 10.

Evans and Ghaffarian presented their paper, “Enabling More Than Moore: Accelerated Reliability Testing and Risk Analysis for Advanced Electronic Packaging.”

“[The presentation focused on] how to test things efficiently by increasing how much stress and load you put on the parts so that you can reduce the amount of test time,” said Evans.

The presentation showcased potential spaceflight technologies and the methods available to test them. It also explained how to apply accelerated testing to those technologies and to bring a risk-informed perspective to the test design.

Evans noted that electronic parts packaging is moving away from peripheral connections to array packages. While array packages are more efficient from a performance perspective, they also present greater risk because the solder joints are not always accessible for inspection and the solder joints tend to bear more physical load. This will affect the reliability of the system, so reliability testing is even more crucial with these advanced electronic parts and packages, especially when they are being used for spaceflight.

“Commercial businesses and government agencies are looking at ways to be effective and economical, and accelerated testing can do that,” said Evans. “…A risk-informed approach is another order of magnitude that you can place on the test to get more information. You’re getting more for what you’re investing in the test, and that helps you make better decisions for what technology you can use for certain applications. That reduces risk.”

The international workshop, which included representatives from the European Space Agency and commercial industry, gives NASA an opportunity to learn as well as present their findings and techniques.

“In the old days, NASA and the military were more than 50 percent [of the advanced electronic packaging market]. Now we are less than 1 percent of the market,” noted Ghaffarian. “This is an opportunity for us to understand what is going on with a hundreds of billions of dollar market — what we can use or not use, and what are the risk-mitigation approaches for such a vast industry.”

“This was an opportunity to set the stage for the conference,” said Evans of the keynote speech, “to show that NASA is leading in the area, to interact with industry counterparts and see how they’re doing things, exchange information, and all around improve the direction the field is going.”

  "Enabling More Than Moore"