By Adam P. Taylor, Head of Engineering – Systems, e2v
At the highest level, there are two ways to think about reliability. First is the confidence the system will operate for the required lifetime. Here is where the MTBF, probability of success and the familiar bathtub curve are of use. The second consideration is ensuring that, should an erroneous event occur, your design will either continue to function and remain fail-safe or issue a report on an impending problem. The way we engineers perform the design and analysis can affect both of these aspects of reliability.