Software Assurance and Software Safety Requirements Added to NASA Software Engineering Handbook
NASA-HDBK-2203B, NASA Software Engineering and Software Assurance Handbook was approved by the NASA chief engineer on April 20, 2020. This wiki-based NASA Technical Handbook provides users and practitioners with guidance material for implementing the requirements of NPR 7150.2, NASA Software Engineering Requirements and the implementation of the draft NASA Software Assurance and Software Safety requirements in NASA-STD-8739.8A, Software Assurance and Software Safety Standard.
The intent of this NASA Technical Handbook is to provide “best-in-class” guidance for the implementation of safe and reliable software in support of NASA projects. It is a critical component of the agencywide plan to work toward a continuous and sustained software engineering and software assurance process and product improvement.
The NASA Software Engineering and Assurance Handbook is meant for the community that is involved in the acquisition, management, development, assurance, maintenance and operations of NASA software. Readers can use it to sharpen their skills in specific areas or suggest valuable guidance for others in the NASA software community. Novice and experienced software team members can use the NASA Software Engineering and Assurance Handbook as an easily accessible reference or manual that captures the broad knowledge base of numerous experts who have extensive experience in all aspects of NASA’s software systems.
“Instead of working on developing two separate handbooks — one for Software Engineering and one for Software Assurance — we combined the information into one handbook,” said Tim Crumbley, Software Assurance technical fellow. “This allows for all the software requirements to be accessible from one location, therefore setting the Software Assurance and Software Engineering communities up to succeed. This approach demonstrates the good working relationship between software engineering and software assurance and shows how software assurance activities are related to the required engineering requirements.”
The handbook includes Software Assurance and Software Safety topics and requirements. The Software Assurance and Software Safety topics include items like off-nominal testing, software Reliability, Software Assurance metrics, software Failure Modes and Effect Analysis, software safety analysis, basics of software auditing and software test witnessing.
The electronic-based and interactive handbook is a wiki website accessible through the NASA Engineering Network, the NASA technical standard site, and directly via the website https://swehb.nasa.gov/. Not only does it provide guidance material for determining the scope and applicability of individual requirements from NPR 7150.2 and other reference material regarding NASA’s software systems, the handbook also contains the rationale behind the requirements, guidance on their implementation, specific tools used in the development of NASA software, and critical lessons learned from developing projects and Software Assurance steps needed to assure the engineering activities.
The NASA Software Working Group adopted this interactive approach to encourage the software community to submit feedback about the handbook. Personnel with comments, suggestions, or resources to share can contact the NASA Technical Standards System.
For more information, contact Crumbley.