Mission Assurance Increased with Regression Testing

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Title: Mission Assurance Increased with Regression Testing

Authors: Roland Lang

Abstract: Knowing what to test is an important attribute in any testing campaign, especially when it has to be right or the mission could be in jeopardy. The New Horizons mission, developed and operated by the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, received a planned major upgrade to their Mission Operations and Control (MOC) ground system architecture. Early in the mission planning it was recognized that the ground system platform would require an upgrade to assure continued support of technology used for spacecraft operations. With the planned update to the six year operational ground architecture from Solaris 8 to Solaris 10, it was critical that the new architecture maintain critical operations and control functions. The New Horizons spacecraft is heading to its historic rendezvous with Pluto in July 2015 and then proceeding into the Kuiper Belt. This paper discusses the Independent Software Acceptance Testing (ISAT) Regression test campaign that played a critical role to assure the continued success of the New Horizons mission. The New Horizons ISAT process was designed to assure all the requirements were being met for the ground software functions developed to support the mission objectives. The ISAT team developed a test plan with a series of test case designs. The test objectives were to verify that the software developed from the requirements functioned as expected in the operational environment. As the test cases were developed and executed, a regression test suite was identified at the functional level. This regression test suite would serve as a crucial resource in assuring the operational system continued to function as required with such a large scale change being introduced. Some of the New Horizons ground software changes required modifications to the most critical functions of the operational software. Of particular concern was the new MOC architecture (Solaris 10) is Intel based and little end ian, and the legacy architecture (Solaris 8) was SPARC based and big end ian. The presence of byte swap issues that might not have been identified in the required software changes was very real and can be difficult to find. The ability to have test designs that would exercise all major functions and operations was invaluable to assure that critical operations and tools would operate as they had since first operational use. With the longevity of the mission also came the realization that the original ISAT team would not be the people working on the ISAT regression testing. The ability to have access to all original test designs and test results identified in the regression test suite greatly improved the ability to identify not only the expected system behavior, but also the actual behavior with the old architecture.   

Publish Year: 2013

Published in: Aerospace - IEEE

Number of Pages: 8

موضوع: مهندسی نرم افزار، تست نرم افزار، تست مجتمع سازی

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