Government and Industry Perspective on MBMA Align

Government and Industry Perspective on MBMA Align

4-minute read

Six NASA Papers Accepted, NASA Hosts Panel at RAMS

When it comes to Reliability and Maintainability (R&M), the public and private sectors’ objectives appear to be aligned. The 2020 theme for the annual R&M Symposium (RAMS) —  a conference focused on the latest technical practices and procedures presented through technical papers and tutorials — was, “R&M in a Model-Based Systems Engineering Environment.”

NASA submitted seven Model-Based Mission Assurance (MBMA)-focused or related technical papers to RAMS. Six of those papers — written by R&M professionals from the Ames Research Center, Glenn Research Center, Goddard Space Flight Center, Headquarters and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) — were accepted, and three were recognized as “prime.”

“Conference reviewers were really happy with our paper submissions because what we’re doing is very relevant,” said John Evans, MBMA Program manager. “It’s good for research efforts to be communicated to a broader community to make what we’re doing more known and increase the visibility and outputs.”

Several NASA representatives led sessions and participated in panel discussions including Frank Groen, Office of Safety and Mission Assurance (OSMA) deputy chief, a distinguished guest; John Evans, OSMA MBMA Program manager, session chair for the “Future Directions in Model-Based Engineering for Assurance” discussion; Tony DiVenti, OSMA R&M technical fellow, panel moderator for the “Future Directions in Model-Based Engineering for Assurance” discussion; Natesan Jumbuligam, Office of Chief Financial Offer senior program manager, chair for several R&M and fault prevention sessions; Ying Shi, Goddard software safety engineer, chair for the “Software Reliability and Testing” session and panelist for the “Software Reliability and Fault Tolerance in the 21st Century” discussion; Martin Feather, JPL Software Assurance engineer, moderator for the “Software Reliability and Testing” session;  and Ken Costello, Independent Verification and Validation Facility, panel moderator for the “System Security and Safety” session.   

“Everyone agreed MBMA would significantly improve the way we do business in terms of having data available and performing analysis with efficiency,” said DiVenti. “With that, there were many challenges identified. For example, how do we get all of these disparate data sources available? How do we — the government — help facilitate this change? Feedback from industry suggested that without the government facilitating this initiative, it may not happen.”

In various pockets throughout NASA, groups are moving forward with a variety of related concepts ranging from Model-Based Anything (MBx), the application of a framework for describing a system (i.e., engineering, financial, and program management) resulting in the creation of a functional digital workflow over the life cycle of all NASA missions — to Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE), the formalized application of modeling to support system requirements, design, analysis, verification and validation activities beginning in the conceptual design phase and continuing throughout development and later life cycle phases, — to MBMA, the integration of assurance considerations with the emerging MBSE paradigm.

The OSMA MBMA Program, in partnership with agency Digital Transformation activities, is driving the effort to fully embrace MBMA at NASA. While MBMA activities are underway, agency leaders are also creating solutions that enable seamless data flow and collaboration across centers.   

Find all of NASA’s RAMS paper submissions on the R&M TEAMS site.

NASA MBMA Paper Submissions

Automatic Fault Tree Generation from Radiation-Induced Fault Models

Rebekah A. Austin, Nagabhushan Mahadevan, Arthur F. Witulski, Gabor Karsai, Brian D. Sierawski, Ronald D. Schrimpf, Robert A. Reed

This paper describes the modeling of the radiation-induced faults and the process for designing and evaluating the radiation test results and associated challenges. It explains a general method of automatic fault tree generation using an exemplar CubeSat board for radiation-induced faults in the components.

Enabling Assurance in the MBSE Environment

John W. Evans, PhD.; Steven L. Cornford, PhD.; David Kotsifakis; Tim Crumbley; Martin S. Feather, PhD.

This paper discusses the applications of MBSE to assurance disciplines. With appropriate modeling techniques, the assurance community can improve early oversight and insight into project development.  NASA has shown the basic constructs of SysML in an MBSE environment offer several key advantages within an MBMA initiative.

NASA Quality Assurance in an MBSE World

Steven L. Cornford, PhD.; David Kotsifakis, MSci; Sean Beckman, BSci; Martin S. Feather, PhD.; John W. Evans, PhD.

This paper provides insight into how the MBSE modeling tools can be used to define Safety and Mission Assurance (SMA) processes, produce SMA products and represent SMA disciplines. It provides a vision of a very desirable future of NASA SMA after it is fully integrated into the MBSE framework. It explores the impact and consequences of MBSE value items and how they impact the disciplines of Quality Assurance, R&M, System Safety, and Software Assurance. 

Reliability Analysis of Complex NASA Systems with Model-Based Engineering

Nancy J. Lindsey, Mahdi Alimardani, Luis D. Gallo

This paper is a study of modeling practices to develop strategies for integrating Reliability engineers into NASA's model-based engineering process to ensure that risk assessments generated from Reliability artifacts are more accurate and consistent and remain relevant and value-needed to design, development and operational processes. This study recommends that NASA use a structure modeling environment that promotes consistency, accuracy and efficiency and that modelers within NASA follow a recommended Model-Based Safety and Mission Assurance process.

Software Assurance of Autonomous Spacecraft Control

Ben Smith, PhD.; Martin S. Feather, PhD.; Terry Huntsberger, PhD.; Robert Bocchino, PhD.

This paper addresses the assurance of a software system being added to an in-orbit CubeSat to test autonomous control of that spacecraft. The paper focuses on how to develop assurance of the correct operation of the added software in its operational context.

The New NASA Approach to Reliability and Maintainability

Harry W. Jones, PhD.

This paper addresses the Reliability and Maintainability objectives hierarchy that were formerly assembled into NASA-STD-8729.1A, NASA Reliability and Maintainability (R&M) Standard for Spaceflight and Support Systems in 2017, consistent with a Systems Engineering, MBSE or MBMA objectives and requirements flow-down hierarchy. The paper focuses on application of the hierarchy from the perspective of a systems engineer, working with life support systems, who touts the revised standard as “an innovation for the Safety and Mission Assurance disciplines.”

Please contact Evans for more information regarding MBMA activities.

Please contact DiVenti for more information regarding OSMA Digital Transformation activities.