10. Appendix: Core Qualification Artifacts/Documents

An effort at NASA has been performed to suggest a core set of artifacts (as defined by BOTH NASA NPR 7150.2B and DO-178B) that can be utilized by a mission as a baselined starting point for “pre-qualification” for (open-source) software that is intended to be utilized for flight purposes. This effort analyzed the overlap between NPR 7150.2B and DO-178B and highlighted a core set of artifacts to serve as a starting point for any open-source project. These artifacts were also cross-referenced with similar activities for other NASA flight software qualification efforts, such as the open-source Core Flight System (cFS). Along with the specific artifact, the intent of the artifact was also captured; in some cases open-source projects, such as RTEMS, are already meeting the intent of the artifacts with information simply needing organized and formalized. The table below lists the general category, artifact name, and its intent. Please note that this table does NOT represent all the required artifacts for qualification per the standards; instead, this table represents a subset of the most basic/core artifacts that form a strong foundation for a software engineering qualification effort.

Table 1. Core Qualification Artifacts
Category Artifact Intent
Requirements

Software Requirements Specification (SRS)

Requirements Management

The project shall document the software requirements.

The project shall collect and manage changes to the software requirements.

The project shall identify, initiate corrective actions, and track until closure inconsistencies among requirements, project plans, and software products.

Requirements Test and Traceability Matrix The project shall perform, document, and maintain bidirectional traceability between the software requirement and the higher-level requirement.
Validation The project shall perform validation to ensure that the software will perform as intended in the customer environment.
Design and Implementation Software Development or Management Plan

A plan for how you will develop the software that you are intent upon developing and delivering.

The Software Development Plan includes the objectives, standards and life cycle(s) to be used in the software development process. This plan should include: Standards: Identification of the Software Requirements Standards, Software Design Standards, and Software Code Standards for the project.

Software Configuration Management Plan To identify and control major software changes, ensure that change is being properly implemented, and report changes to any other personnel or clients who may have an interest.
Implementation

The project shall implement the software design into software code.

Executable Code to applicable tested software.

Coding Standards Report The project shall ensure that software coding methods, standards, and/or criteria are adhered to and verified.
Version Description Document (VDD) The project shall provide a Software Version Description document for each software release.
Testing and Software Assurance Activities Software Test Plan Document describing the testing scope and activities.
Software Assurance/Testing Procedures To define the techniques, procedures, and methodologies that will be used.
Software Change Report / Problem Report The project shall regularly hold reviews of software activities, status, and results with the project stakeholders and track issues to resolution.
Software Schedule Milestones have schedule and schedule is updated accordingly.
Software Test Report / Verification Results The project shall record, address, and track to closure the results of software verification activities.
Usability Software User’s Manual The Software User Manual defines user instructions for the software.

In an effort to remain lightweight and sustainable for open-source projects, Table 1 above was condensed into a single artifact outline that encompasses the artifacts’ intents. The idea is that this living qualification document will reside under RTEMS source control and be updated with additional detail accordingly. The artifact outline is as follows: