Safety Analysis Goes Hand-In-Hand with System Design

SESSAF, a newly released analysis tool from Adventium Labs, adds another dimension to industry practices for safety analysis of complex systems that rely on software like aircraft. SESSAF enables system evaluators and system engineers to work in concert. “With SESSAF, safety analysts can evaluate the design as it’s being created by system engineers,” said Adventium’s Rand Whillock. “When engineering makes a design change, safety engineers assess how the change impacts safety. Similarly, when a safety engineer recommends changes, engineering can see those recommendations and assess impact on other parts of the system like power usage and bandwidth. Before SESSAF, these were often done in an ad hoc fashion and when the system design was much further along.”

The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) is funding the development of the Systems Engineering Safety and Security Analysis Framework (SESSAF). SESSAF guides safety experts through a structured conversation, helping them methodically apply their domain knowledge to a specific system design. Using a wizard interface, the experts answer questions about safety concerns specific to the system design. Using the expert’s responses, SESSAF updates the AADL model.

SESSAF incorporates a safety methodology aimed at identifying complex, multi-factor safety and security hazard scenarios, particularly in software reliant systems. Miscommunicated software requirements have played a major role in many system failures. One example in the media was the Mars Polar Lander, which crashed due to miscommunicated requirements for landing control software.

“Safety critical systems are increasingly software-reliant, and AADL excels modeling safety critical systems.” Says Whillock, “we believe SESSAF will bring engineers and analysts closer together around AADL models, helping to build even safer systems for the Army.”

SESSAF is available on Adventium’s Curated Access to Model-based Engineering Tools, an industry leading source of design and analysis tools for complex systems. SESSAF was also featured at the 22nd Annual Systems and Mission Engineering Conference on October 24th, 2019 (https://www.ndia.org/events/2019/10/21/22nd-annual-systems-and-mission-engineering-conference) and at the AADL Demo Day on October 28th, 2019 (https://aadluserday2019.sched.com/list/descriptions/). 

This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center Aviation Development Directorate - Eustis under contract no. W911W6-17-D-0003.  Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center Aviation Development Directorate - Eustis.

Copyright 2019 Adventium Labs

All of the information in this release has been previously approved for release as part of the NDIA presentation given on 10/24/2019.