Reliability methods in dynamic system analysis

Munoz, Brad Ernest
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Standard techniques used to analyze a system's response with uncertain system parameters or inputs, are generally Importance sampling methods. Sampling methods require a large number of simulation runs before the system output statistics can be analyzed. As model fidelity increases, sampling techniques become computationally infeasible, and Reliability methods have gained popularity as an analysis method that requires significantly fewer simulation runs. Reliability analysis is an analytic technique which finds a particular point in the design space that can accurately be related to the probability of system failure. However, application to dynamic systems have remained limited. In the following thesis a First Order Reliability Method (FORM) is used to determine the failure probability of a dynamic system due to system/input uncertainties. A pendulum cart system is used as a case study to demonstrate the FORM on a dynamic system. Three failure modes are discussed which correspond to the maximum pendulum angle, the maximum system velocity, and a combined requirement that neither the maximum pendulum angle or system velocity are exceeded. An explicit formulation is generated from the implicit formulation using a Response Surface Methodology, and the FORM is performed using the explicit estimate. Although the analysis converges with minimal simulation computations, attempts to verify FORM results illuminate current limitations of the methodology. The results of this initial study conclude that, currently, sampling techniques are necessary to verify the FORM results, which restricts the potential applications of the FORM methodology. Suggested future work focuses on result verification without the use of Importance sampling which would allow Reliability methods to have widespread applicability.