Failure IS an option

by Web FishAug 19, 2012 @ 05:01pm

You've probably heard before the phrase "Failure is not an option". Unfortunately, when it comes to complex projects like this, every element that goes into the system has the potential to fail. Motors burn out. Propellers get wrapped in seaweed. Hulls get breached. Cables get snapped. And the overall system is only as reliable as it's weakest link.

How do we deal with this fact of life?

  • User higher quality components

This is an obvious one. Higher quality (usually) means "more expensive". It's a trade-off. We don't want to loose the vessel because of the failure of 25 cent washer. But we can't afford to spend $250 per washer either.

  • Design with reserve

A 12 Volt motor will (most of the times) last several times longer when run at 6 or 7.5 Volts.

  • Redundancy

Make any critical system redundant. Either via back-up or by parallel systems. The chance of coincidental failure of two parallel systems is (usually much) lower than of a single one. 

As you will see next week, redundancy is the top factor in the selection of our vessel platform.

 

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