ECSS-Q-HB-80-03A – Software dependability and safety (26 January 2012)


This Handbook provides guidance on the application of the dependability and safety requirements relevant to software defined in ECSS-Q-ST-80C.

This Handbook provides support for the selection and application of software dependability and safety methods and techniques that can be used in the development of software-intensive space systems.

This Handbook covers all of the different kinds of software for which ECSS-Q-ST-80C is applicable. Although the overall software dependability and safety workflow description is mainly targeted to the development of spacecraft, the described approach can be adapted to projects of different nature (e.g. launchers, ground systems).

The methods and techniques described in the scope of this Handbook are limited to assessment aspects, not including development and implementation techniques for dependability and safety (e.g. fault tolerance techniques, or development methods like coding standards, etc.).

Although dependability is a composite term, including reliability, availability and maintainability, this Handbook addresses in particular the reliability aspects. Software maintainability and availability are not covered in depth by this handbook, because the relevant methods and techniques are still undergoing improvement. Nevertheless, whenever a link can be made to either of these two characteristics, it is explicitly mentioned in the corresponding section.


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This handbook supports following ECSS Standard: ECSS-Q-ST-80C – Software product assurance (6 March 2008).