Barron Associates envisions significant near- and far-term uses for the proposed use of the system safety case for certification. The Food and Drug Administration, for example, requires the delivery of an assurance argument --- a synonym for the safety case --- with any new direct-injection drug pumps. The increase in the amound of software present in unmanned systems make traditional certification approaches both challenging and expensive; the results of the empirical study will inform future decision making regarding how certification should be pursued. Beyond air vehicles, other classes of unmanned systems, including ground and underwater vehicles will also benefit from the technology. Finally, the nuclear industry depends upon software for the control of its power plants and propulsion systems. Techniques like the system safety case, which directly argue software safety, may bring benefit as compared to prescriptive approaches, which only claim software quality. The proposed new, modular collision-avoidance system also has applications beyond those envisioned for NASA. In addition to its applications for civil air transport, the modularity of the system make it suitable for Department of Defense use in sense-and-avoid applications: ADS-B could be replaced by an active surveillance capability, such as one that relied on an on-board radar.
Barron Associates anticipates a number of opportunities to apply this SBIR-developed technology to NASA programs. With NASA's ongoing efforts for the development of the NextGen airspace, and their continued progress in both manned and unmanned space exploration, there is renewed emphasis on increased levels of safety, reliability, and affordability for these new and emerging systems and concepts. To address hardware component failures and faults, control and flight operational systems for advanced platforms will need to be intelligent, adaptable, reconfigurable, and often nondeterministic in their behavior in order to provide the required levels of safety and reliability. Current certification approaches have served well in the past but may not scale adequately for envisioned future systems. Our proposed empirical study of the system safety case as an alternative means for certification will lay the groundwork for its acceptance as a viable path to certification. Additionally, Barron Associates' proposed demonstration of a modular collision-avoidance system based on ADS-B presents an opportunity to use NextGen emerging technology to develop a collision-avoidance system that is accurate, safe, and future-proof. As surveillance technologies advance, cost-effective upgrades to the collision-avoidance system will be possible, allowing those advances to improve the performance of the overall system, enabling further separation reductions without additional nuisance warnings.