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Solar Probe Plus Spacecraft Flight Software requirements verification test framework

AuthorJacobs, Samantha; Wortman, Kristin;
KeywordsFlight control systems; Formal verification; Interplanetary flight; NASA; Probes; Program debugging; Requirements engineering; Software design; Spacecraft; Parker Engineering
AbstractComprehensive Spacecraft Flight Software requirements verification is essential to the success of deep space missions. NASA s Solar Probe Plus (SPP) Spacecraft Flight Software and requirement verification activities are being implemented by Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) located in Laurel, MD. JHU/APL s software development process for a critical mission requires an independent verification of all Spacecraft Flight Software requirements. The complexity of SPP s Spacecraft Flight Software and the number of critical requirements mandates an efficient process to build, maintain and execute a comprehensive test suite. In addition, detailed reports must contain relevant information on test execution steps for post-execution analysis verification and for test artifact dissemination to external reviewers (NASA Independent Verification and Validation). The Van Allen Probes mission (launched in 2012) implemented the initial Test Framework currently being used to conduct post-launch regression verification of Spacecraft Flight Software releases. The simplistic Test Framework design consists of following a set of conventions for procedure development and the use of specific routines from a procedure library. The procedures are used to create and write relevant information to report files and to verify different types of spacecraft data points. The basic philosophy of the Test Framework design is each test must continue to execute even when a test execution failure is encountered. The SPP Mission Operations ground system and supported test procedure development language are the same as used on Van Allen Probes. Therefore, SPP can reuse the core of the Test Framework infrastructure with minor modifications. A major enhancement in the SPP Test Framework is the feature to allow the test engineer to tailor the test suite to target a specific subset of tests. Scheduling selected tests to launch during non-peak work hours provides an efficient method to maximize test environment usage. Easy access to the test execution reporting system via an Intranet web interface offers another benefit to the cognizant test engineer for post-execution debugging and analysis. Additionally, the SPP Test Framework provides an efficient method to automate the configuration control system check-out process of test procedures and the check-in process of test execution artifacts. Supplemental procedures have also been incorporated into the SPP Test Framework to perform routine error analysis of ground system logs to reduce manual verification and to assist in troubleshooting problems encountered during test execution. The paper will detail the SPP Test Framework and benefits to critical Spacecraft Flight Software requirements verification. The discussion in the paper will include the enhancements in the SPP Test Framework to address the lessons learned from the Van Allen Probes Spacecraft Flight Software requirements verification program. Atlassian Bamboo tool configuration was used as the test harness for the SPP Test Framework to provide the test selection, schedule and automatic launch features to support execution of the SPP Spacecraft Flight Software test suite.
© 2016 IEEE.
Year of Publication2016
JournalIEEE Aerospace Conference Proceedings
Number of Pages
Date Published