What could and should be done differently: failure-oriented-accelerated-testing (FOAT) and its role in making an aerospace electronics device into a product

  • E. SuhirEmail author


High operational reliability of an electronic material or a device intended for aerospace applications is critical, and, in the author’s opinion, cannot be assured, if the underlying physics of failure is not well understood and the never-zero probability of failure is not predicted and made adequate for the particular material, device and application. The situation is the same in some other areas of electronics materials engineering, such as military, medical, or long-haul communications, where high level of reliability is required. The situation is different in today’s commercial electronics, where cost and time-to-market are typically more important than high reliability. Failure-oriented-accelerated-testing (FOAT) of aerospace electronics materials and products and its role in making a viable device into a reliable product is addressed and discussed vs. very popular today highly-accelerated-life-testing (HALT). The differences of the two accelerated test procedures and objectives is briefly discussed. FOAT is an essential part of the recently suggested probabilistic design for reliability (PDfR) approach in electronics engineering. It is argued that high (adequate) reliability level of aerospace electronics materials and devices cannot be achieved and assured, if their never-zero probability-of-failure is not quantified for the given (anticipated) combination of the loading conditions (stresses, stimuli) and time in operation. It is the application of the FOAT, the heart of the highly effective and highly flexible PDfR concept, that should be employed and mastered, when high reliability of a material or a device is imperative. The general concepts are illustrated by numerical examples. They are based on an analytical modeling approach, as the FOAT models are.



Accelerated testing


Ball grid array


Burn-in testing


Coefficient of thermal expansion


Design for reliability


Failure oriented accelerated testing


Highly accelerated life testing


Qualification testing


Mean time to failure


Probabilistic DfR


Product development testing


Prognostics and health monitoring


Predictive modeling


Probability of failure


Probabilistic risk analysis


Sensitivity analysis


Safety factor


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, and Electrical and Computer EngineeringPortland State UniversityPortlandUSA
  2. 2.Vienna Institute of TechnologyViennaAustria
  3. 3.ERS Co.Los AltosUSA

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