What Could and Should be Done Differently: Failure-oriented-accelerated-testing (FOAT) and its Role in Making an Aerospace Electronics Device into a Product

Published In

Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics

Document Type


Publication Date



High operational reliability of an electronic material or a device intended for aerospace applications is critical, and, in the author’s opinion, cannot be assured, if the underlying physics of failure is not well understood and the never-zero probability of failure is not predicted and made adequate for the particular material, device and application. The situation is the same in some other areas of electronics materials engineering, such as military, medical, or long-haul communications, where high level of reliability is required. The situation is different in today’s commercial electronics, where cost and time-to-market are typically more important than high reliability. Failure-oriented-accelerated-testing (FOAT) of aerospace electronics materials and products and its role in making a viable device into a reliable product is addressed and discussed vs. very popular today highly-accelerated-life-testing (HALT). The differences of the two accelerated test procedures and objectives is briefly discussed. FOAT is an essential part of the recently suggested probabilistic design for reliability (PDfR) approach in electronics engineering. It is argued that high (adequate) reliability level of aerospace electronics materials and devices cannot be achieved and assured, if their never-zero probability-of-failure is not quantified for the given (anticipated) combination of the loading conditions (stresses, stimuli) and time in operation. It is the application of the FOAT, the heart of the highly effective and highly flexible PDfR concept, that should be employed and mastered, when high reliability of a material or a device is imperative. The general concepts are illustrated by numerical examples. They are based on an analytical modeling approach, as the FOAT models are.



Persistent Identifier