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Proceedings Paper

Use of failure modes and effects analysis in design of the tracker system for the HET wide-field upgrade
Author(s): Richard Hayes; Tim Beets; Joseph Beno; John Booth; Mark Cornell; John Good; James Heisler; Gary Hill; Herman Kriel; Charles Penney; Marc Rafal; Richard Savage; Ian Soukup; Michael Worthington; Joseph Zierer
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Paper Abstract

In support of the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX), the Center for Electromechanics at The University of Texas at Austin was tasked with developing the new Tracker and control system to support the HETDEX Wide-Field Upgrade. The tracker carries the 3,100 kg Prime Focus Instrument Package and Wide Field Corrector approximately 13 m above the 10 m diameter primary mirror. Its safe and reliable operation by a sophisticated control system, over a 20 year life time is a paramount requirement for the project. To account for all potential failures and potential hazards, to both the equipment and personnel involved, an extensive Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) was completed early in the project. This task required participation of all the stakeholders over a multi-day meeting with numerous follow up exchanges. The event drove a number of significant design decisions and requirements that might not have been identified this early in the project without this process. The result is a system that has multiple layers of active and passive safety systems to protect the tens of millions of dollars of hardware involved and the people who operate it. This paper will describe the background of the FMEA process, how it was utilized on HETDEX, the critical outcomes, how the required safety systems were implemented, and how they have worked in operation. It should be of interest to engineers, designers, and managers engaging in complex multi-disciplinary and parallel engineering projects that involve automated hardware and control systems with potentially hazardous operating scenarios.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 September 2012
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 8449, Modeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy V, 84491K (25 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.925500
Show Author Affiliations
Richard Hayes, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Tim Beets, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Joseph Beno, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
John Booth, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Mark Cornell, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
John Good, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
James Heisler, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Gary Hill, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Herman Kriel, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Charles Penney, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Marc Rafal, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Richard Savage, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Ian Soukup, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Michael Worthington, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Joseph Zierer, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8449:
Modeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy V
George Z. Angeli; Philippe Dierickx, Editor(s)

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