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Optimum Simple Step-Stress Plans for Accelerated Life Testing

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2 Author(s)
Miller, Robert ; General Electric Co., Schenectady; MD: K60; GE Aircraft Engine Bus.; Evendale, OH 45215 USA. ; Nelson, Wayne

This paper presents optimum plans for simple (two stresses) step-stress tests where all units are run to failure. Such plans minimize the asymptotic variance of the maximum likelihood estimator (MLE) of the mean life at a design stress. The life-test model consists of: 1) an exponential life distribution with 2) a mean that is a log-linear function of stress, and 3) a cumulative exposure model for the effect of changing stress. Two types of simple step-stress tests are considered: 1) a time-step test and 2) a failure-step test. A time-step test runs a specified time at the first stress, whereas, a failure-step test runs until a specified proportion of units fail at the first stress. New results include: 1) the optimum time at the first stress for time-step test and 2) the optimum proportion failing at the low stress for a failure-step test, and 3) the asymptotic variance of these optimum tests. Both the optimum time-step and failure-step tests have the same asymptotic variance as the corresponding optimum constant-stress test. Thus step-stress tests yield the same amount of information as constant-stress tests.

Published in:

Reliability, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:R-32 ,  Issue: 1 )