During flight hardware integration, priority and precedence must be given to completion of the electrical power interface Safe-To-Mate procedures. Priority and precedence for testing flight hardware implies that Safe-To-Mate is the first test procedure during integration. No other electrical integration procedures should commence until Safe-To-Mate procedure is completed. Incorrect power interfaces have caused more flight hardware damage than any other electronic hardware failure mode.
It is recommended that serious attention and care must be taken by project and systems engineering management to ensure that all Safe-To-Mate procedures are given significant priority during the component electrical integration.
The key elements to successful application flight hardware power are continual diligence and a detailed understanding of the risks involved with an initial power-on integration operation. This attentive diligence is particularly necessary during early flight hardware integration efforts, because the hardware test configuration is continually changing. Breakout boxes are instrumental pieces of equipment used during Safe-To-Mate procedures.
The initial application of power is a continuous process. This process proceeds from component acceptance through flight instrument hardware and systems level integration and test. It cannot be understated the risk associated with the initial application of power to flight hardware. Particularly, when the test configuration is changed from component to subsystem or systems level testing, which involves a change in the power cable and harness interface.