Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects

Reliability Of a Lunar

Amanda Michelle Huff, Western Kentucky University

Document Type Thesis


Reliability Engineering is a field of engineering that studies the ability of a system (or component of a system) to function properly under specific conditions for a specific period of time; reliability analysis of such a system can take many forms. This thesis presents a quantified reliability study of a system that the author along with a team of Western Kentucky University Engineering students (designated Team ARTEMIS) designed, built, tested, and entered for competition in the Inaugural National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Lunabotics Mining Competition in May 2010. A detailed quantitative analysis has been completed using both a Failure Mode, Effects, and Criticality Analysis (FMECA) and a Reliability Block Diagram (RBD) system model to identify high priority items within the system calling for improvement. The results and conclusions drawn from this study will be utilized by the second generation Western Kentucky University Lunabotics Team—on which the author will take a lead role—for the next iteration of the system in order to perform critical redesign activities. Additionally, NASA and/or other space exploration organizations could use this study should this particular design be employed in the future for actual lunar excavation.