Implementation Procedures for the Risk in Early Design (RED) Method

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Interdisciplinary Engineering, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, MO 65409

2 Department of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering Oregon State University


Risk assessments performed at the conceptual design phase of a product may offer the greatest opportunity to increase product safety and reliability at the least cost. This is an especially difficult proposition, however, as often the product has not assumed a physical form at this early design stage. This paper introduces the Risk in Early Design (RED) method, a method for performing risk assessments based on functions, rather than physical components, to address this challenge. In particular, this paper focuses on the function based mathematical mappings of the RED method for a preliminary risk assessment based on catalogued historical failure information. An example is presented on how the RED preliminary risk assessment method is used in the design process on a spacecraft thermal control subsystem. Also, heuristics for applying the particular types of risk assessments are discussed. The preliminary risk assessment method discussed offers a potentially paradigm-shifting approach to identifying potential areas of concern in a product during the early stages of design when risk mitigation is least expensive.


Main Subjects

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Volume 2, Issue 2 - Serial Number 2
August 2008
Pages 126-143
  • Receive Date: 16 February 2007
  • Revise Date: 19 September 2007
  • Accept Date: 17 December 2008
  • First Publish Date: 17 December 2008