Space Satellite Reliability starts at the early stages in the design process.

Designers and Reliability engineers, are involved early in the product life cycle.

In military, but also increasingly commercial Space programmes, ILS is involved.

ILS is short for Integrated Logistics Support.

Integrated Logistics Support, is concerned with producing a product, that is reliable, and easy to maintain.

In Space, reliability is extra important, as it is expensive to repair and maintain Satellites, once in Space.

Maintenance of Satellites in Space, might actually be impossible.

Geostationary Satellites, are put into an orbit which is 36,000 Kilometres, from the earth.

Therefore not easily accessible.

Space Satellite Reliability Terms:


RCM is short for Reliability Centred Maintenance.

Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) is a systematic approach to maintenance that focuses on identifying and addressing the maintenance needs of critical assets or systems.

The goal of RCM is to maximize the reliability, availability, maintainability, and safety of these assets or systems, while minimizing maintenance costs and downtime.

RCM involves a series of steps to identify and prioritize maintenance tasks based on their impact on system reliability and safety.

These steps include:

System or asset selection: Identifying the critical systems or assets that require maintenance.

Functional analysis: Understanding the functions and performance requirements of the system or asset, and how it can fail.

Failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA): Identifying the potential failure modes and their effects on system performance.

Criticality analysis: Assessing the impact of each failure mode on system performance and safety.

Maintenance task selection: Determining the appropriate maintenance tasks to mitigate or prevent the identified failure modes.

Task implementation: Implementing the maintenance tasks identified in step 5.

Performance monitoring: Monitoring system performance and adjusting maintenance tasks as needed.

RCM is commonly used in industries such as aviation, manufacturing, and power generation, where reliability and safety are critical.

It helps organizations optimize their maintenance strategies by focusing on the most critical assets or systems and ensuring that maintenance resources are allocated effectively.


FMECA stands for Failure Modes, Effects, and Criticality Analysis.

FMECA is a systematic and structured approach used in engineering and quality management to identify and evaluate potential failure modes of a system or product.

It also determines product or system, causes and effects, and prioritize them based on their criticality.

FMECA involves breaking down a system or product into its individual components or subsystems, identifying the potential failure modes for each component, and then assessing the potential consequences of those failures.

The criticality of each failure mode is evaluated based on its severity, likelihood of occurrence, and detectability, and the results are used to develop strategies for mitigating or eliminating the identified risks.

FMECA is commonly used in industries such as aerospace, automotive, and defense to ensure that critical systems and components are designed and manufactured to meet safety, reliability, and performance requirements.

It can also be used as a proactive tool to identify potential failure modes before they occur, allowing organizations to implement corrective actions to prevent or reduce the likelihood of failures.


Published by Craig Miles

Craig Miles

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