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AdvoCATE Project Team Presents at NASA's Office of Safety & Mission Assurance
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AdvoCATE Project Team Presents at NASA's Office of Safety & Mission Assurance

The Assurance Case Automation Toolset (AdvoCATE) team was invited by Anthony Diventi, NASA Reliability and Maintainability Technical Fellow, to give a presentation on their work on safety assurance cases to NASA's Office of Safety and Mission Assurance (OSMA). The presentation included a demonstration of AdvoCATE, which is under development in the Robust Software Engineering Group. Attendees, including members of NASA HQ, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the NASA Safety Center, and NASA Goddard Space Flight Research Center, requested a copy of the AdvoCATE software, and we plan to follow up with a more detailed tutorial on its use.

BACKGROUND: NASA's Office of Safety and Mission Assurance (OSMA) is currently revising assurance standards and procedural requirements, including NASA Procedural Requirements (NPR) 8705.4 to incorporate Objective Hierarchies, a new goals-based approach to standards with a view to ensuring that the Safety and Mission Assurance (SMA) disciplines and programs address the challenges of NASA’s changing missions, acquisition and engineering practices, and technologies.

Assurance cases have a close connection to objective hierarchies: first, assurance cases provide a framework for project and application-specific tailoring of high-level and lower-level objectives. Next, they enhance the decomposition structure of objective hierarchies by augmenting them with contextual information, also making explicit any assumptions made. Additionally, they facilitate the linking of lower-level objectives to concrete items of evidence.

This framework provides flexibility for NASA's acquisition processes for spaceflight missions: SMA efforts can be efficiently channeled into defining risk-based objectives, the evidence required for assurance, and the reasoning justifying how and why the evidence supplied supports the objectives. In turn, the technical and engineering processes required to generate the necessary evidence can be left to the solution providers.

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: System-wide Safety (SWS) project, Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD)

TEAM: Ewen Denney, Jonathan Menzies, Ganesh Pai, and Irfan Sljivo,


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