Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP6

ISAAC — Result In Brief

Project ID: 501848
Funded under: FP6-AEROSPACE
Country: Italy

Improving safety in the skies

As avionic systems become increasingly complex, rigorous safety assessment becomes increasingly difficult. European researchers have developed an extensive platform enabling efficient and effective multiple analyses, thus providing rapid feedback for improved design and safety.
Improving safety in the skies
The ‘Improvement of safety activities on aeronautical complex systems’ (ISAAC) project was designed to extend the work of the Fifth Framework Programme (FP5) project Enhanced safety assessment for complex systems (ESACS) and thus enhance the computerised safety analysis process. As such, the ISAAC team developed tools and methodologies that were then applied to case studies presented by aeronautics partners.

The researchers compiled a library of existing and approved safety tools and routines regarding safety structures (safety architecture patterns) as well as a methodology to use them. They also incorporated a temporal dimension into the analysis routines (timing and quantitative analysis), such that failures occurring over time could be followed rather than simply evaluating the result of the failure when it happens.

In addition, the ISAAC team incorporated methodologies to evaluate external events and options of actions to be taken (common cause analysis) as well as human error analysis taking into account cognitive limitations of the pilot.

The investigators then extended the analysis of system components, human error and external events to include evaluation of conditions specific to certain missions (mission reliability analysis). With the addition of system testability/diagnosability, the researchers sought to broaden the applicability of formal techniques developed for the avionics industry to new disciplines based on the design and analysis process.

Finally, the ISAAC project team tackled the issue of user friendliness combined with complex capabilities. Currently available tools are either easy to understand and use but not complex enough in their analytical capabilities, or they are quite complex but require intensive training on the part of the engineer in order to be useful. This issue of high level representation was successfully addressed.

In summary, the ISAAC project produced a software platform that increased the efficiency of safety analysis of aeronautical complex systems. The platform should enhance aircraft safety and increase European competitiveness in the aeronautics industry.

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