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Help NASA With Its Digital Transformation Strategy

Help NASA With Its Digital Transformation Strategy

3-minute read
Digital Transformation

NASA’s Safety and Mission Assurance (SMA) Reliability and Maintainability (R&M) team is progressing with its Digital Transformation strategy to create solutions that enable seamless data flow and collaboration across centers. Integrating digital technologies will streamline engineering processes and data acquisition, share data among missions and centers seamlessly, leverage tools and technology across the agency, and ensure mission success through knowledge and influence.

“Digital Transformation isn’t about dictating change to everyone, but figuring out what we can do to enable the change,” said Nancy Lindsey, deputy R&M technical fellow. “To do this, first we need to assess where we are now.”

To determine the agency’s current R&M digital state, the team conducted a data survey and interviewed fellow R&M practitioners located at different centers. The survey found R&M data sharing across disciplines and within the R&M community is limited, as is the manner in which it is stored. Knowledge is not being passed easily from one engineer or effort to the next or across NASA. Results also found that R&M practitioners across the agency are not consistent in performing, or being asked to perform,  traditional Reliability, Maintainability and Availability, Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA), Fault Tree Analysis, Probabilistic Risk Assessment, or other analysis methods.

“While it was largely understood that analysis methods may vary slightly across centers,  it was not understood that these variations could significantly contribute to barriers impacting cross-agency R&M data sharing,” said Anthony DiVenti, NASA R&M technical fellow. Furthermore, as Nancy Lindsey noted, “No one person has the time or the resources at the centers to develop a solution space to enable data sharing and collaboration across centers.” 

It is here where the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance’s R&M leadership is leaning in and attempting to facilitate Enterprise Data Sharing capabilities. To begin creating a framework for data sharing, the team is collecting data to build an FMEA Failure Modes library that would be accessible across the agency. The team is requesting access to center data repositories to mine data as part of a larger universal repository. If practitioners have a component with certain failure conditions, they would be able to share it with the entire NASA community. Accessibility to such data will allow practitioners to reuse previous work or models from mission to mission, thus increasing efficiency. NASA’s R&M team is driving the initiative to develop a solution space to share data throughout the agency.

“We have to look at the big picture,” said Tony DiVenti, R&M technical fellow. “We can never have enough data for our analysis and/or models.  Any incremental steps we can take towards creating a foundation of data to support our activities are steps in the right direction.”

The R&M team is also developing an R&M Knowledge Portal to share data, policies and resources with the entire agency to help foster greater consistency in R&M analyses being performed and/or being requested. The portal is slated for broad availability towards the end of 2021.

If you would like to assist in this effort by granting access to your center data repository or sending a representative quality product, specifically about spacecraft FMEA, please contact Nancy Lindsey or Tony DiVenti