Current research at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is directed toward the optimization of future spacecraft testing. Force-limited vibration studies, conducted during several recent space vehicle programs, have been extremely successful in improving the quality and realism of hardware trials. Single versus triaxial vibration research is also in progress, with a similar objective of test realism enhancement. In addition, use of the Environmental Test Effectiveness Assessment (ETEA) process has helped to identify those tests which most effectively isolate hardware defects. In an effort to streamline the development of requirements, JPL has recently begun to establish a "2-sigma" generic environmental envelope. In the future, such an envelope could allow "off-the-shelf" hardware to be flown on a number of standard launch vehicles. In a related study, the Accurate, Cost Effective Qualification (ACEQ) program has been developed to correlate system requirements with failure modes, and then assess the effectiveness of test, analysis and process control in identifying these modes.

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