Stage Separation Failure: Model Based Diagnostics and Prognostics



Published Mar 21, 2024
Dmitry Luchinsky Vasyl Hafiychuk Igor Kulikov Vadim Smelyanskiy Ann Patterson-Hine John Hanson Ashley Hill


Safety of the next-generation space flight vehicles requires development of an in-flight Failure Detection and Prognostic (FD&P) system. Development of such system is challenging task that involves analysis of many hard hitting engineering problems across the board. In this paper we report progress in the development of FD&P for the re-contact fault between upper stage nozzle and the inter-stage caused by the first stage and upper stage separation failure. A high-fidelity models and analytical estimations are applied to analyze the following sequence of events: (i) structural dynamics of the nozzle extension during the impact; (ii) structural stability of the deformed nozzle in the presence of the pressure and temperature loads induced by the hot gas flow during engine start up; and (iii) the fault induced thrust changes in the steady burning regime. The diagnostic is based on the measurements of the impact torque. The prognostic is based on the analysis of the correlation between the actuator signal and fault-induced changes in the nozzle structural stability and thrust.

How to Cite

Luchinsky, D. ., Hafiychuk, V. ., Kulikov, I. ., Smelyanskiy, V. ., Patterson-Hine, A., Hanson, J. ., & Hill, A. . (2024). Stage Separation Failure: Model Based Diagnostics and Prognostics. Annual Conference of the PHM Society, 2(1).
Abstract 155 | PDF Downloads 108



physics of failure, diagnostics and prognostics, stage separation failure, structural stability


J. D. Andreson. (2001). Fundamentals of Aerodynamics, New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

D.R. Bartz. (1965), Heat Transfer from Rapidly and from Heated Air, in Advances in Heat Transfer, vol. 2,Hartnett, J. P. , and Irvine, T. F. Jr., eds., New York: Academic Press.

Futron Corporation, Design Reliability Comparison for SpaceX Falcon Vehicles,


P. Hill and C. Peterson (1992), Mechanics and Thermodynamics of Propulsion, 2-rd ed., Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Inc. New York.

F.P. Incropera and D. P. DeWitt (2002), Introduction to Heat Transfer, John Wiley & Sons, NY,

D.G. Luchinsky, V.V. Osipov, V.N. Smelyanskiy, D.A.

Timucin, S. Uckun, B. Hayashida, M. Watson, J. McMillin, D. Shook, M. Johnson, S. Hyde. (2009, March), “Fault Diagnostics and Prognostics for Large Segmented SRMs”, in Proceeding of 2009 IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, Montana.

V .V . Osipov, D.G. Luchinsky, V .N. Smelyanskiy, C. Kiris, D.A. Timucin, S.H. Lee. (2007). In-Flight Failure Decision and Prognostic for the Solid Rocket Buster, in Proceeding of AIAA-2007-5823, 43rd AIAA/ASME/SAE/ ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, Cincinnati, OH.

C. Seife, “SPACE SHUTTLE: Columbia Disaster Underscores the Risky Nature of Risk Analysis”, Science 14 February 2003: Vol. 299. no. 5609, pp. 1001 – 1002.

A.H. Shapiro. (1953). “The Dynamics and Thermodynamics of Compressible Fluid Flow”, Ronald Press, NY, vol. I ,

V.N. Smelyanskiy, D.G. Luchinsky, V.V. Osipov, D.A. Timuchin, S.Uckun. (2008, July), “Development of an on-board failure diagnostics and prognostics system for Solid Rocket Booster”, in Proceeding of 44rd AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference & Exhibit, Hartford, CT.

T.-S. Wang and M. Guidos (2009). Transient Three- Dimensional Side-Load Analysis of a Film-Cooled Nozzle, Journal of Prop and Power, Vol. 25, no. 6, 1272-1280.
Technical Research Papers