Wednesday, May 24, 2023
HomeSoftware EngineeringTowards Environment friendly and Efficient Software program Sustainment

Towards Environment friendly and Efficient Software program Sustainment

In my previous weblog posts, I promised to offer extra examples highlighting the significance of software program sustainment within the U.S. Division of Protection (DoD). My focus is on sustaining legacy weapons techniques which can be not in manufacturing, however are anticipated to stay a key element of our protection functionality for many years to return. Even supposing these legacy techniques are not within the acquisition section, software program improve cycles are wanted to refresh their capabilities each 18 to 24 months. As well as, important modernization can typically be made by extra intensive, targeted software program upgrades with comparatively modest {hardware} modifications. This third weblog submit describes efficient sustainment engineering efforts within the Military, utilizing examples from throughout its software program engineering facilities. These examples are tied to SEI analysis on functionality maturity fashions, agility, and the Structure Evaluation and Design Language (AADL) modeling notation.

A Temporary Historical past of Software program Sustainment within the Military

From its earliest days, the army has supplied services to keep up the performance of its varied weapon techniques. The descriptive phrases for these models have included “arsenals,” “depots,” and “engineering facilities,” to call just a few. Within the Military, accountability is in software program facilities inside the Analysis, Improvement, and Engineering Command (RDECOM). Websites are unfold throughout the nation, from New Jersey (Picatinny Arsenal) and Maryland (Aberdeen Proving Floor) to Arizona (Fort Huachuca).

Inside this geographical framework of arsenals and depots throughout the nation, we will overlay the elevated significance of software program in our weapon techniques. The Abrams Essential Battle Tank gives a wonderful instance. Design started in 1972, with manufacturing in 1980. Present predictions are that the most recent model (M1A2) will stay in use one other 30 years, emphasizing the necessity for software program updates to legacy weapon techniques. Equally, the Military’s Apache helicopter has skilled exceptional, software-intense upgrades over its life since its preliminary design within the Seventies. The preliminary model, the AH-64A, had about 300,000 supply traces of code (KSLOC) aboard. The AH-64D, produced extra not too long ago, has over 1.4 million supply traces of code (MSLOC), vastly increasing the capabilities of the system. The not too long ago launched AH-64E continues the expansion of software program significance on this mainstay of Military aviation (extra about this weapon system later on this posting).

Given the rising significance of software program for Military techniques, this weblog submit highlights some latest examples of efficient sustainment of software-reliant techniques throughout RDECOM. I give attention to the outcomes of enchancment efforts throughout the area. The workforce within the software program facilities has grown in its technical competence, and a contemporary techniques engineering atmosphere has been developed. With that historic perspective, we will discover among the examples evident right this moment.

Steady Enchancment

The Armament Software program Engineering Middle (Armament SEC) at Picatinny Arsenal has lengthy been concerned with SEI applied sciences. Consistent with the idea that reaching maturity ranges utilizing fashions like CMMI solely units the stage for better enhancements, the Armament SEC group on the arsenal has shared its method to defect containment with their REDCOM friends. The chart beneath reveals the group’s Defect Containment Matrix (DCM), which gives a manner of visually displaying details about the problems and drawback reviews related to a system.

Defect Containment Matrix Instance


Supply: ARDEC Armament Software program Engineering Middle (Picatinny Arsenal)

Through the use of a DCM methodology, the Armament SEC group can focus its enchancment efforts on the areas that the majority want it. This matrix permits improvement groups to enhance their give attention to eradicating defects so they do not leak into the subsequent section of the lifecycle. This course of permits earlier corrections and saves rework prices.

The Defect Leakage Enchancment chart beneath reveals the profit to the Armament SEC defect removing course of from quite a few course of enhancements, akin to enhanced software program peer evaluations. Metrics captured throughout the development cycle, from when the middle had been acting at maturity degree 3 to its present standing at maturity degree 5, inform the story.

Defect Leakage Enchancment


Supply: ARDEC Armament Software program Engineering Middle (Picatinny Arsenal)

DCM was launched when The U.S. Military Armament Analysis, Improvement and Engineering Middle (ARDEC) was at maturity degree 3 in CMMI and starting its measurement of enchancment actions, considered one of which was DCM. When it achieved CMMI maturity degree 5 a number of years later, it measured the distinction and found the improved containment and lowered leakage proven within the chart above and outlined beneath:

  • Defects captured inside a section elevated by greater than 3 times; defect leakage for one section decreased by greater than 11 instances: and defect leakage for a couple of section decreased by greater than 6 instances.
  • Much less rework occurred late within the lifecycle when it’s costliest to restore, leading to lowered price and schedule dangers.
  • Peer evaluations turned more practical in attacking systemic points. Peer assessment return on funding ~5.5.

Environment friendly Agile Updates

At Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL the Software program Engineering Directorate (SED) initiated a serious restructuring of the launcher capabilities for the Precision Fires Rocket and Missile System (PFRMS). Through the years of functionality enchancment on the launcher, the variety of laptop system configuration gadgets (CSCIs) had grown to 36, because it was often simpler to give attention to a brand new phase than to restructure. The software program dimension reached about 1.2 MSLOC. The Huntsville group took on a re-architecting of the system to eradicate redundant components into 6 CSCI’s, and a discount to about 450 KLOC, about one-third its former dimension. The restructure considerably shortened upkeep checks–a important worth delivered to the warfighter within the subject. Whereas subjects like software program reliability are properly lined in different blogs, it is very important notice that the code clean-up reduces the probability of software program deficiencies within the subject.

The group tackling the restructure was additionally main the transition into agile improvement, creating new metrics that higher describe developmental progress when utilizing agile strategies. The fee-effective success achieved utilizing agile strategies at SED has led the Military program workplace to assign extra software program sustainment efforts for the launcher to SED.

Structure Evaluation and Design Language (AADL)

Quite a few years in the past, the SEI teamed with SED in an effort to enhance software-reliant techniques by means of digital system integration with the Structure Evaluation and Design Language (AADL), which is the business commonplace modeling language that was standardized by SAE Worldwide. As mentioned extensively in a collection of SEI weblog posts, AADL gives notations for capturing legacy software program and system architectures after which evaluating the consequences of change by means of predictive, quantitative evaluation. Evaluation domains of concern is crucial to software-reliant techniques and consists of features (akin to {hardware} utilization, system timing, latency results, scheduling, fault propagation, fault tolerance, security, and safety) that may solely be understood from an architectural perspective.

With the SED at Redstone Arsenal, we once more see a sustainment-focused group concerned in turning modern analysis into sensible options for issues confronted when upgrading and evolving legacy weapons techniques. By making use of AADL to mannequin different architectures and interface choices for brand new avionics in plane just like the Apache AH-46E talked about above, SED can discover and confirm safer and extra environment friendly upgrades to the weapon techniques’ capabilities with the prime contractor. SED can then consider the impact of modifications proposed by the prime contractor for this system workplace. This assessment might lead to an improved method as choices are evaluated or outcome within the early discovery of system points. SED and the SEI are additionally concerned in superior system improvement experiments for brand new plane techniques on account of this subject analysis with current techniques.

For instance, failure modes and results evaluation are far simpler when a complicated design language like AADL gives visibility into the ways in which errors can propagate throughout the system of techniques that composes a contemporary plane. Equally, SED can improve the safety of the weapon system through the use of AADL instruments to research safety vulnerabilities and keep away from them within the deliberate improve. An earlier weblog submit describes tips on how to mannequin system conduct with AADL. One other submit discusses using the language to seize security and reliability features. To learn extra about different purposes of AADL, please go to our weblog touchdown web page and click on on the AADL class.

Agile Programs Engineering

One other mission at SED demonstrates the worth of efficient integration of improved methodologies for each {hardware} and software program. The directorate had developed experience in software program design that led to its designation as the middle to develop and preserve the game-based coaching of younger soldiers–now known as the “America’s Military” product suite.

The directorate realized of a must develop a unique {hardware} and software program system–a simulator to coach deploying troops on profitable operations for every crew station in a mine resistant ambush protected (MRAP) automobile to incorporate egress coaching after a rollover. These autos had supplied very important enchancment within the security of the troops inside it in contrast with earlier autos. Nevertheless, their design additionally elevated the opportunity of a rollover, so egress training–to enable escape from an overturned vehicle–was wanted.

I used the time period “agile techniques engineering” to connote the revolutionary method taken to create an answer to this coaching problem. The SED mission coupled its recreation capabilities with some {hardware} collaborators who have been a part of the SED group. Inside 18 months, it developed a prototype of the system inside the time usually spent making an attempt to get the necessities written. All of the prototype improvement was achieved with frequent consumer involvement, so the important thing ideas of agile improvement have been getting used. Furthermore, the mix of {hardware} and software program improvement meant that techniques engineering agility was being powerfully demonstrated.

Conclusions and Trying Forward

For greater than 200 years, sustainment efforts throughout our army techniques meant restoring them to a suitable state for reuse. Because the capabilities have turn out to be more and more software-reliant, nevertheless, the sustainment phase of the system lifecycle has modified dramatically. The organizations dedicated to modernizing our army capabilities have proved their experience and their capability to innovate with methods and instruments freshly out of the analysis area. Future blogs will take a look at different examples from comparable SEI analysis efforts.

Further Sources

To learn the SEI technical report, Sustaining Software program Intensive Programs, please go to



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments