New System Receives and Searches NASA Advisories and GIDEP Notices

New System Receives and Searches NASA Advisories and GIDEP Notices

3-minute read

Want to search for NASA Advisories, Government-Industry Data Exchange Program (GIDEP) Notices and other similar documents on your own?

Up until now, if you wanted to search GIDEP, you either needed your own account or had to contact your center GIDEP representative. Now, if you are within the NASA firewall, you can search for GIDEP Notices and NASA Advisories yourself. 

The Johnson Space Center recently created the NASA Advisory, Notices and Alerts Distribution and Response Tracking System (NANADARTS) where NASA employees and contractors can search for and receive NASA Advisories (dating back to 1990), as well as recent GIDEP Notices.

NASA Advisories currently reside in the NASA Advisory Reporting System (NARS), which only center GIDEP representatives can access. Now, the NARS data is accessible in NANADARTS, which will send notifications to NASA employees and contractors of NASA Advisories and GIDEP alerts, ensuring everyone is aware of all nonconforming software and hardware that could pose risks to agency programs and projects. NANADARTS integrates seamlessly with NARS, allowing users to perform their own searches without the center GIDEP representatives’ involvement.

“The idea is that by sharing relevant and applicable knowledge with other people, we save not only money but possibly missions and lives,” said Will Davis, NARS and NANADARTS development lead.

NPR 8735.1 mandates closed-loop reporting for safety critical programs and projects. The agency receives GIDEP notifications of nonconformances reported on products such as electronic parts, fasteners and fire extinguishers and then releases these notices to NASA programs and projects, which evaluate them and determine whether these notices are germane to their NASA project. Each center has its own processes for mitigating risk, but, typically, when it identifies an issue, the program or project creates a report and coordinates a response. In safety-critical situations, NASA requires a report even if there is no impact to the project.

“NANADARTS will streamline the closed-loop reporting process for all the NASA centers,” said Bill Loewy, the GIDEP program manager at NASA Headquarters. “It will also create agency-wide impact reports that show senior management how many documents are processed and the cost avoidance achieved by participating in GIDEP. There are a lot more of these notices then people think.”

Previously, Davis and other GIDEP coordinators sent Advisories by fax and email, entering them into a database manually in a labor-intensive process. NANADARTS automates this process, simultaneously speeding up the process while removing a lot of the human error. The coordinators can open a record and configure who they want to receive the notices. The recipients can go into the system, view the information and determine whether they need to take any action.

“As GIDEP coordinators, we mitigate and control risk,” Davis said. “NANADARTS creates uniformity across all centers, providing data availability to every NASA employee. We gain efficiency by eliminating duplicate work.”

Developing the System

Johnson began work on NANADARTS about two years ago. The custom-built system is tablet- and smartphone-compatible and accessible to people with disabilities. It is also modular so administrators can add new features as needed. Anyone in the NASA domain who is a U.S. citizen can apply for access to the program through the NASA Access Management System and search for part numbers and/or codes to see if something has nonconformances associated with it.

In the future, Davis would also like NANADARTS to capture documents from other organizations, such as the Missile Defense Agency and European Space Agency. These organizations document nonconformances as well, and sharing data nationally and internationally would be beneficial for everyone. The NASA Safety Center is also considering inputting Mishap Warning-Action-Responses into NANADARTS.

NANADARTS provides other benefits, as well.

“Because everyone is reporting within the same system, we are now able to obtain trending data and agency-wide impact assessments a lot easier,” Davis said. “Instead of polling the centers, you look at the usage with just a couple of clicks. It’s on-demand data.”

The NANADARTS team released the system Oct. 1 to coincide with the beginning of the fiscal year. The GIDEP team is using the system, although not yet exclusively. Some centers are phasing it in quicker than others. Once NANADARTS has been tweaked to meet the needs of various centers’ GIDEP requirements, it will become mandatory. This should take a year or so.

“We’ve wanted this capability for a long time,” Loewy said. “NANADARTS will expand the reach of these important notices while, at the same time, reducing the effort needed.”