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Quality Assessment of Space Software Reveals Need for Improvement

September 20, 2010
Software engineering in the space domain is regulated by strict quality standards. The adoption of these standards in software development processes is intended to lead to high-quality software products.
 
Tiago Alves (University of Minho & Software Improvement Group) has performed case studies on two simulators used to model space subsystems. He investigated whether development of software in accordance to the standards prescribed by the European Cooperation for Space Standardization (ECSS) indeed leads to software products of high technical quality. The case study was conducted on the SimSat product of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the EuroSim product owned by a consortium of Dutch Space, TASK24 and NLR. The case studies of Alves were conducted in the context of research on quality models for software products, such as the SIG model for software maintainability according to ISO/IEC 9126.

The findings of the case studies reveal that both simulators have important weaknesses in terms of software maintainability, in spite of their development in accordance with ECSS standards. Alves will present his findings in the 11th International Workshop on Simulation for European Space Programmes (SESP 2010) tol be held September 28-30 in Noordwijk, The Netherlands.

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