The method of statistical trials (Monte Carlo simulation) in combination with a sensitivity analysis by variance separation is presented as an efficient design and analysis system for each specific mode of failure. The method has several advantages: (1) it provides a realistic reliability prediction for each failure mode of a composite structure; (2) it determines the material, geometrical, and manufacturing variables which have a significant role upon the structure's reliability with respect to each failure mode; and (3) it determines which material, geometrical, and manufacturing variables should be controlled in order to manufacture the structure at minimum product assurance costs. Application is made to the graphite-epoxy truss tubes of NASA's applications technology satellite.
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