Abstract

This paper presents the failure analysis on a 1.5m flex harness for a space flight instrument that exhibited two failure modes: global isolation resistances between all adjacent traces measured tens of milliohm and lower resistance on the order of 1 kiloohm was observed on several pins. It shows a novel method using a temperature controlled air stream while monitoring isolation resistance to identify a general area of interest of a low isolation resistance failure. The paper explains how isolation resistance measurements were taken and details the steps taken in both destructive and non-destructive analyses. In theory, infrared hotspot could have been completed along the length of the flex harness to locate the failure site. However, with a field of view of approximately 5 x 5 cm, this technique would have been time prohibitive.

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