Highly Accelerated Life Testing (HALT) is used in the commercial electronics industry to improve product robustness prior to starting production. The basic theory is that testing well beyond expected, intended-use environments may uncover design flaws that could become field failures after a product is in production. By fixing issues prior to starting production, costly recalls can be avoided. HALT has proven to be effective, as evidenced by its wide incorporation in the commercial electronics industry. Could HALT also be worth the time and expense of performing on commercial satellite hardware, which is designed to rigorous standards and tested over military-grade environmental test specifications? This paper summarizes Space Systems/Loral’s (SS/L) initial experience with HALT, experience over time, and refinement of the traditional HALT process with emphasis on finding the operating limit margins before purposely searching for any failure limits. The methodology used by SS/L has proven to be effective when introducing new technologies and complex designs for use on commercial satellites.
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