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Supporting Development of Satellite's Guidance Navigation and Control Software: A Product Line ApproachThe NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Flight Software Branch (FSB) is developing a Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GNC) Flight Software (FSW) product line. The demand for increasingly more complex flight software in less time while maintaining the same level of quality has motivated us to look for better FSW development strategies. The GNC FSW product line has been planned to address the core GNC FSW functionality very similar on many recent low/near Earth missions in the last ten years. Unfortunately these missions have not accomplished significant drops in development cost since a systematic approach towards reuse has not been adopted. In addition, new demands are continually being placed upon the FSW which means the FSB must become more adept at providing GNC FSW functionality's core so it can accommodate additional requirements. These domain features together with engineering concepts are influencing the specification, description and evaluation of FSW product line. Domain engineering is the foundation for emerging product line software development approaches. A product line is 'A family of products designed to take advantage of their common aspects and predicted variabilities'. In our product line approach, domain engineering includes the engineering activities needed to produce reusable artifacts for a domain. Application engineering refers to developing an application in the domain starting from reusable artifacts. The focus of this paper is regarding the software process, lessons learned and on how the GNC FSW product line manages variability. Existing domain engineering approaches do not enforce any specific notation for domain analysis or commonality and variability analysis. Usually, natural language text is the preferred tool. The advantage is the flexibility and adapt ability of natural language. However, one has to be ready to accept also its well-known drawbacks, such as ambiguity, inconsistency, and contradictions. While most domain analysis approaches are functionally oriented, the idea of applying the object-oriented approach in domain analysis is not new. Some authors propose to use UML as the notation underlying domain analysis. Our work is based on the same idea of merging UML and domain analysis. Further, we propose a few extensions to UML in order to express variability, and we define precisely their semantics so that a tool can support them. The extensions are designed to be implemented on the API of a popular industrial CASE tool, with obvious advantages in cost and availability of tool support. The paper outlines the product line processes and identifies where variability must be addressed. Then it describes the product line products with respect to how they accommodate variability. The Celestial Body subdomain is used as a working example. Our results to date are summarized and plans for the future are described.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
McComas, David (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Stark, Michael (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Leake, Stephen (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
White, Michael (Johns Hopkins Univ. Laurel, MD United States)
Morisio, Maurizio (Politecnico di Torino Torino, Italy)
Travassos, Guilherme H. (COPPE/UFRJ-BR Unknown)
Powers, Edward I.
Date Acquired
August 20, 2013
Publication Date
November 1, 2000
Subject Category
Space Transportation and Safety
Meeting Information
Software Engineering Workshop
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.