Modern techniques are required to detect faults before a system failure happens, a top Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) official said here on Friday.
M.C. Dathan, director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, a major space research centre of the ISRO, said that both in aircraft and rocket flights, a fault is often detected when a failure happens and the result is catastrophic.
He inaugurated a National Conference on Health Monitoring and Fault Detection in Aerospace Systems organised by Astronautical Society of India (ASI) and the ISRO.
"We need modern techniques to detect fault before a system failure happens," he said.
"There are three most probable causes for failures in such complex systems. The first and foremost reason is not having a full understanding of how systems work," said Dathan.
"The second reason is an over-attachment to some systems with a belief that they would not fail. There is a general tendency to have implicit faith in foreign equipments which makes us less keen on testing them."
Another reason, he said, is ignoring a test result which indicates trouble.
Dathan said "timely detection" is the key to averting major system failures.
"One of the key aspects of the success of ISRO's first Mars mission was the enormous amount of data analyses done to find out what went wrong on previous Mars missions and beacuse we took precautions to prevent such failures," said the space scientist.
P.S. Subramanyam, director, Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), pointed out that in the lifecycle cost of an aircraft, only 25 percent is the acquisition cost.
"In its life time, the maintenance expense becomes much more than the acquisition cost."
"Only highly reliable and easily maintainable aircraft can gain global acceptance. In this aspect, the aircraft sector can tailor appropriate rocket technologies to suit aviation needs," said Subramanyam.
"A cross-information flow between aviation and space technology experts becomes very meaningful in this backdrop," added Subramanyam.