Mirce-mechanics approach to the analysis of the cosmic radiation impact on aviation reliability

  • Jezdimir Knezevic
Original Research


The main objective of this paper is to demonstrate the necessity of addressing all physical causes that lead to the transition of maintainable systems from positive to negative functionability state during their lives. Addressing the reliability characteristics of components and systems in isolation from the analysis of the impact of the natural environment on is not sufficient. Hence, results of the research performed in accordance with the Mirce-mechanics principles have shown the significant impact of cosmic radiation on the in-service behaviour of aviation systems. Due to the rapid advances in electronics technology and the unrelenting demand for increased avionics functionality, the complexity of avionics systems has risen exponentially. Hence, ever more advanced microprocessor and memory semiconductor devices are being used that exhibit an increased susceptibility to cosmic radiation phenomena. Single event effects have been the primary radiation concern for avionics since the late 1980’s when the phenomenon, which had previously only been observed in orbiting satellites, also began to appear in aircraft electronic systems. The trend with each new generation of avionics system is to use increasing quantities of semiconductor memories and other complex devices that are susceptible to decreases in reliability due to ionising radiation from the cosmic rays from space and alpha particles from radioactive impurities in the device itself. The interaction of this radiation can result in either a transient “soft error” effect such as a bit flip in memory or a voltage transient in logic, alternatively a “hard error” can be induced resulting in permanent damage such as the burnout of a transistor. Thus, this paper concludes that Mirce-mechanics approach to reliability is the only way forward for all members of the reliability community who wish to develop a method for accurate predictions of reliability, cost and effectiveness of aviation systems at early design stages, rather than to measure their in-service values and produce end of life statistics.


Aviation reliability Cosmic radiation Mirce-mechanics 



I wish to express my gratitude to the professionalism of Ian Zaczyk, Doctoral Diploma student of the MIRCE Akademy, whose relentless research on this subject has produced a significant body of knowledge that is used as the foundation for many research projects related to cosmic radiation, at the Akademy.


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Copyright information

© Society for Reliability and Safety (SRESA) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MIRCE AkademyExeterUK

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