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Identifying dependability requirements for space software systems

Author(s): Marcos Alécio dos Santos Romani | Carlos Henrique Netto Lahoz | Edgar Toshiro Yano

Journal: Journal of Aerospace Technology and Management
ISSN 1984-9648

Volume: 2;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 287;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: Dependability | software systems | requirements | space computer systems | criticality analysis.

Computer systems are increasingly used in space, whether in launch vehicles, satellites, ground support and payload systems. Software applications used in these systems have become more complex, mainly due to the high number of features to be met, thus contributing to a greater probability of hazards related to software faults. Therefore, it is fundamental that the specification activity of requirements have a decisive role in the effort of obtaining systems with high quality and safety standards. In critical systems like the embedded software of the Brazilian Satellite Launcher, ambiguity, non-completeness, and lack of good requirements can cause serious accidents with economic, material and human losses. One way to assure quality with safety, reliability and other dependability attributes may be the use of safety analysis techniques during the initial phases of the project in order to identify the most adequate dependability requirements to minimize possible fault or failure occurrences during the subsequent phases. This paper presents a structured software dependability requirements analysis process that uses system software requirement specifications and traditional safety analysis techniques. The main goal of the process is to help to identify a set of essential software dependability requirements which can be added to the software requirement previously specified for the system. The final results are more complete, consistent, and reliable specifications.
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