tech track papers

Categories: 2017, Space Safety and Services

Risk-Significant Adverse Condition Awareness Strengthens Assurance of Fault Management Systems

As spaceflight systems increase in complexity, Fault Management (FM) systems are ranked high in risk-based assessment of software criticality, emphasizing the importance of establishing highly competent domain expertise to provide assurance. Adverse conditions (ACs) and specific vulnerabilities encountered by safety- and mission-critical software systems have been identified through efforts to reduce the risk posture of software-intensive NASA missions. Acknowledgement of potential off-nominal conditions and analysis to determine software system resiliency are important aspects of hazard analysis and FM. A key component of assuring FM is an assessment of how well software addresses susceptibility to failure through consideration of ACs. Focus on significant risk predicted through experienced analysis conducted at the NASA Independent Verification & Validation (IV&V) Program enables the scoping of effective assurance strategies with regard to overall asset protection of complex spaceflight as well as ground systems. Research efforts sponsored by NASA’s Office of Safety and Mission Assurance defined terminology, categorized data fields, and designed a baseline repository that centralizes and compiles a comprehensive listing of ACs and correlated data relevant across many NASA missions. This prototype tool helps projects improve analysis by tracking ACs, and allowing queries based on project, mission type, domain/component, causal fault, and other key characteristics. Vulnerability in off-nominal situations, architectural design weaknesses, and unexpected or undesirable system behaviors in reaction to faults are curtailed with the awareness of ACs and risk-significant scenarios modeled for analysts through this database. Integration within the Enterprise Architecture at NASA IV&V enables interfacing with other tools and datasets, technical support, and accessibility across the Agency. This paper discusses the development of an improved workflow process utilizing this database for adaptive, risk-informed FM assurance that critical software systems will safely and securely protect against faults and respond to ACs in order to achieve successful missions.


Author: Rhonda Fitz
Topic: Space Safety and Services

  • Risk-Significant Adverse Condition Awareness Strengthens Assurance of Fault Management Systems

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