14 CFR § 450.108 - Flight abort.

§ 450.108 Flight abort.

(a) Applicability. This section applies to the use of flight abort as a hazard control strategy for the flight, or phase of flight, of a launch or reentry vehicle to meet the safety criteria of § 450.101.

(b) Flight safety system. An operator must use a flight safety system that:

(1) Meets the requirements of § 450.145 if the consequence of any reasonably foreseeable failure mode in any significant period of flight is greater than 1 × 102 conditional expected casualties in uncontrolled areas; or

(2) Meets the requirements of § 450.143 if the consequence of any reasonably foreseeable failure mode in any significant period of flight is between 1 × 102 and 1 × 103 conditional expected casualties for uncontrolled areas.

(c) Flight safety limits objectives. An operator must determine and use flight safety limits that define when an operator must initiate flight abort for each of the following -

(1) To ensure compliance with the safety criteria of § 450.101(a) and (b);

(2) To prevent continued flight from increasing risk in uncontrolled areas if the vehicle is unable to achieve a useful mission;

(3) To prevent the vehicle from entering a period of materially increased public exposure in uncontrolled areas, including before orbital insertion, if a critical vehicle parameter is outside its pre-established expected range or indicates an inability to complete flight within the limits of a useful mission;

(4) To prevent conditional expected casualties greater than 1 × 102 in uncontrolled areas due to flight abort or due to flight outside the limits of a useful mission from any reasonably foreseeable off-trajectory failure mode in any significant period of flight; and

(5) To prevent the vehicle state from reaching identified conditions that are anticipated to compromise the capability of the flight safety system if further flight has the potential to violate a flight safety limit.

(6) In lieu of paragraphs (c)(2) and (4) of this section, to prevent debris capable of causing a casualty due to any hazard from affecting uncontrolled areas using a flight safety system that complies with § 450.145.

(d) Flight safety limits constraints. An operator must determine flight safety limits that -

(1) Account for temporal and geometric extents on the Earth's surface of any reasonably foreseeable vehicle hazards under all reasonably foreseeable conditions during normal and malfunctioning flight;

(2) Account for physics of hazard generation and transport including uncertainty;

(3) Account for the potential to lose valid data necessary to evaluate the flight abort rules;

(4) Account for the time delay, including uncertainties, between the violation of a flight abort rule and the time when the flight safety system is expected to activate;

(5) Account in individual, collective, and conditional risk evaluations both for proper functioning of the flight safety system and failure of the flight safety system;

(6) Are designed to avoid flight abort that results in increased collective risk to the public in uncontrolled areas, compared to continued flight; and

(7) Ensure that any trajectory within the limits of a useful mission that is permitted to fly without abort would meet the collective risk criteria of § 450.101(a)(1) or (b)(1) when analyzed as if it were the planned mission in accordance with § 450.213(b)(2).

(e) End of flight abort. A flight does not need to be aborted to protect against high consequence events in uncontrolled areas beginning immediately after critical vehicle parameters are validated, if the vehicle is able to achieve a useful mission and the following conditions are met for the remainder of flight:

(1) Flight abort would not materially decrease the risk from a high consequence event; and

(2) There are no key flight safety events.

(f) Flight abort rules. For each launch or reentry, an operator must establish and observe flight abort rules that govern the conduct of the launch or reentry as follows.

(1) Vehicle data required to evaluate flight abort rules must be available to the flight safety system under all reasonably foreseeable conditions during normal and malfunctioning flight.

(2) The flight safety system must abort flight:

(i) When valid, real-time data indicate the vehicle has violated any flight safety limit developed in accordance with this section;

(ii) When the vehicle state approaches identified conditions that are anticipated to compromise the capability of the flight safety system and further flight has the potential to violate a flight safety limit; and

(iii) In accordance with methods used to satisfy (d)(3) of this section, if tracking data is invalid and further flight has the potential to violate a flight safety limit.

(g) Application requirements. An applicant must submit in its application the following:

(1) A description of the methods used to demonstrate compliance with paragraph (c) of this section, including descriptions of how each analysis constraint in paragraph (d) of this section is satisfied in accordance with § 450.115.

(2) A description of how each flight safety limit and flight abort rule is evaluated and implemented during vehicle flight, including the quantitative criteria that will be used, a description of any critical parameters, and how the values required in paragraphs (c)(3) and (e) of this section are identified;

(3) A graphic depiction or series of depictions of flight safety limits for a representative mission together with the launch or landing point, all uncontrolled area boundaries, the nominal trajectory, extents of normal flight, and limits of a useful mission trajectories, with all trajectories in the same projection as each of the flight safety limits; and

(4) A description of the vehicle data that will be available to evaluate flight abort rules under all reasonably foreseeable conditions during normal and malfunctioning flight.

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