NASA’s Office of Safety and Mission Assurance Electrical, Electronic and Electromechanical (EEE) Parts program recently released a new standard to establish a consistent set of requirements for NASA EEE parts selection, management and control of space flight hardware and critical ground support equipment.
Issued on June 13, 2017, NASA-STD-8739.10, Electrical, Electronic, and Electromechanical Parts Assurance Standard, provides a single agencywide source that covers all topics for EEE parts requirements, including the selection, acquisition, traceability, testing, handling, packaging, storage and application of EEE parts.
“This standard was developed after a gap analysis of all the center’s EEE parts documents identified many areas lacking consistency,” said Dr. Peter Majewicz, EEE Parts Office, Engineering Directorate, Langley Research Center.
The outlined requirements are intended to help control risk and enhance reliability in NASA space flight and mission-critical ground support equipment and test systems as required by NPD 8730.2, NASA Parts Policy. The standard can be referenced in contracts and in professional agreements with organizations outside of NASA, such as the European Space Agency or the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
The standard includes information about EEE part classifications; part selection, assurance, and control requirements; as well as qualified manufacturer and product lists to aid in the selection and procurement of EEE parts. It also provides information about part obsolescence and counterfeit part avoidance to mitigate potential risks.
The scope of the standard also covers Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) assemblies and sub-assemblies containing EEE parts, as well as EEE parts in sensor assemblies. However, the requirements do not apply to aeronautics systems, unless specifically cited in governing documents.
Developing the Standard
“[Before this standard] there were several NASA source documents for EEE parts standards, including different guidelines developed at the center level,” Majewicz said.
To develop this agency-level standard, the NASA EEE Parts Assurance Group organized a working group, led by Majewicz, which consisted of EEE parts professionals from eight NASA centers that handle space flight hardware and critical ground support equipment. The group started by reviewing the existing center-level documents to determine what could be repurposed, as well as information that was missing, but needed. A gap analysis showed several areas that the new standard would need to cover, including EEE parts types, part and commercial grades, criticality categories, COTS assemblies, parts control boards, shipping standards, failure analyses, and more.
“The goal of this standard is not to duplicate requirements or propose new guidelines, but to organize knowledge that exists at many sources – including lessons learned,” Majewicz said.
Rather, it provides a list of requirements for current EEE parts practices to be addressed in EEE Parts Management and Control Plans (EPMCP) at the program and project level.
“We wanted to maintain the authority of each center’s EEE parts organization and preserve their relationship to the programs and projects,” he added.
After completing a draft of the standard, an agency stakeholder review occurred where eleven NASA centers and facilities provided feedback. In fact, Majewicz said more than 280 comments were evaluated and resolved.
Tailoring the Standard
The standard provides guidance about EEE processes and selection criteria but is not intended to mandate specific reliability-grade parts in particular applications. Rather, each center program or project should use the guidelines outlined in NASA-STD-8739.10 to tailor EEE parts requirements based on its risk posture. Individual provisions of the standard may be customized by contract or project specifications to meet program needs.
“Another goal of the standard was to delineate the vital areas of EEE parts requirements for major NASA programs and projects, but not to over-burden smaller projects,” Majewicz said.
The EPMCP must list all requirements or exceptions pertaining to EEE parts activities — from the design and development phase of hardware systems and instruments through mission execution. Customized provisions must be documented and approved by the project manager and technical authority. Additionally, the requirements or exceptions should be formally documented in compliance with NPR 8715.3, NASA General Safety Program Requirements and NASA-STD-8709.20, Management of Safety and Mission Assurance Technical Authority Requirements. Based on the size of the project, the EPMCP may be a stand-alone document or part of the program/project mission assurance document.
NASA programs and projects should review this standard in its entirety to ensure compliance with all EEE parts requirements and documentation and use it to tailor EPMCPs as well as any requirement subsets or exception control documents.
Questions can be directed to Majewicz.