New Methods to Measure the Safety of Military Equipment

By Edmonds, William; Hirano, Jenelle et al. | National Defense, May 2009 | Go to article overview

New Methods to Measure the Safety of Military Equipment


Edmonds, William, Hirano, Jenelle, Rodriguez-Johnson, Elizabeth, National Defense


The Defense Department has developed a new tool for acquisition programs that was designed to gauge the safety of weapons systems. It is called the "system safety metrics method" tool, or SSMM.

SSMM can be especially useful for programs that are driven by an urgent need, such as the mine resistant ambush protected vehicle. The model would help to properly identify potential hazards to the operators of the vehicle--including overheating or rollovers.

Other programs that would benefit from SSMM are commercial off-the-shelf procurements such as body armor. The equipment may be effective in protecting against ballistic threats or fragments, but that does not ensure it is safe for the user because a provider may not have tested or documented flammability or ventilation issues.

Safety engineers at the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center, Ala., see the potential for the model's practical application to manage safety risks and prevent mishaps.

Identifying safety vulnerabilities early in a program's life cycle is imperative for protecting troops and reducing preventable accidents. In addition, detecting safety weaknesses early on helps to save costs. The earlier problems are discovered, the better they can be addressed and remedied before the government invests heavily in development, testing and deployment.

The trouble with traditional methods for judging safety programs is that they involve time-consuming and costly empirical studies that are scheduled too late in the timeline to be of greatest use to the program. Most safety evaluations take place no sooner than the Milestone B engineering and manufacturing development phase after a program has been established and resources are provided for safety support. In some cases, important data may not even be collected until after the program ends. Audit results usually are not available immediately, and the analysis may take several months or more to complete. Programs may request an audit during development, but audits are not systematically performed on every program.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Under the traditional evaluations, for example, testing a vehicle's potential to roll over at a certain speed or turning radius would require the creation of a model of adverse driving conditions, coupled with the vehicle's operating characteristics. The evaluation may take months or even years. By the time a program analyzes the data, the production may well under way. Defense Department data shows that the majority of mishaps are attributed to human error, which may occur as a result of applying procedural and training controls for hazards that could have been addressed with design solutions.

The Department's defense safety oversight council created the SSMM through its acquisition and technology programs task force.

The task force came up with a standardized approach to define the measures of system safety practices, similar to the CMMI (capability maturity model integration) model for assessing system design maturity. The group estimated that defense system safety programs were currently at only a CMMI 1 level. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

New Methods to Measure the Safety of Military Equipment
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.