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|Origin:||Presented at the 54th International Astronautical Congress, 2003|
|Abstract:||After the progressive reduction of the government funds for space activities, the mission cost reduction became relevant for all the space players: industry, research, agencies. Any space project, mainly for the sake of safety, pays a very high attention to Quality standards. Traditionally, the Quality standards represent a very big part of the space project cost. Such an high cost is mostly devoted to traceability and paper documentation production/maintenance.
When the project enters critical phases (testing, integration, simulation, commissioning), often the scheduling needs conflict with Quality needs, and - against any safe approach - Quality goals are often sacrificed to time schedule.
A significant reduction of the project times is obtained, by good willing designers, by the use of electronics and informatics to handle the very critical phases and project tasks.
Capitalizing the experience of several complex projects, the author derived a methodology based on electronic relational tools, to define and manage the project requirements, test procedures, technical notes and detected problems, input/output signals history and project documents. A complete set of relational tools was conceived and developed, then integrated in a client-server system named Project & Test Engineering System.
This paper aims to describe the methodology, and to give knowledge of the tools.