NASA Office of Logic Design

NASA Office of Logic Design

A scientific study of the problems of digital engineering for space flight systems,
with a view to their practical solution.


3.5 Reliability and Fault Tolerance

The available lifetime of the computer shall be adequate for the mission requirements and shall be demonstrated by approved analyses and tests. If required by the tasks to be performed, the computer shall have the capability to detect certain transient internal or external failures (including loss of power) and to take appropriate action to minimize the effects of such occurrences. Malfunction detection equipment or software shall be provided to enable the crew or ground control to recognize the need for repair or change in operational procedure. If necessary, the computer should have the capability to restart or recover after such a failure with a minimum specified effect on the tasks being performed. The computer operation shall be as insensitive as possible to malfunctions and transients in other subsystems.

Extensive qualification testing of components, circuits, assembled computer hardware, and software, use of redundancy, and provision of self-test and malfunction detection programs are to be considered as primary methods of providing reliability.


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Last Revised: February 03, 2010
Digital Engineering Institute
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