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Lessons Learned Using REACT: An Architectural Evaluation Testbed for Real-Time Embedded Systems

Lessons Learned Using REACT: An Architectural Evaluation Testbed for Real-Time Embedded Systems
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Author(s): Phillip Schmidt (The Aerospace Corporation, USA), Jaime Mistein (The Aerospace Corporation, USA), Robert Duvall (The Aerospace Corporation, USA), Jeffrey Lankford (The Aerospace Corporation, USA) and Jesus Rivera (The Aerospace Corporation, USA)
Copyright: 2002
Pages: 4
Source title: Issues & Trends of Information Technology Management in Contemporary Organizations
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-930708-39-6.ch201
ISBN13: 9781930708396
EISBN13: 9781466641358


Recent costly space launch failures and difficulties with on-orbit operation have highlighted the fact that space system architecture designs are becoming increasingly complex to analyze. This complexity stems from the desire to increase program functionality, improve current performance, and seek greater program success within tighter cost/schedule constraints. Additionally, embedded spacecraft software architectures often require support for complex single and multi-satellite protocols, may utilize object-oriented designs and technologies whose performance and maintenance costs may be uncertain, and require the use of custom hardware, often only available after the software has been architected. This increased complexity creates significant program risk. The current procedure of manual inspection of hardcopy Unified Modeling Language (UML) software architecture designs is ineffective and inefficient in finding subtle design flaws. This is true for large ground systems as well as embedded system architectures where it is increasingly difficult to make technical tradeoff decisions based 1solely on qualitative judgments by integrated product teams. The current post-design, code-centric testing approach to problem resolution is also costly. Little or no coordination between architectural analysts and software evaluators involved in independent readiness reviews is practiced today. The result has been an increased risk in flawed/incomplete architectural designs leading to flawed/incompatible implementations, and possible “sleeper” design flaws that result in costly on-board failures. The Real-time Embedded Architecture-Centric Testbed (REACT) facility was created to reduce program risk by early identification and resolution of software architectural shortfalls.

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