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Critical Software News

Role in EarthCare Missions. Certified in Reserach, Development and Innovation

Critical Software is set for launch on EarthCARE Space Mission

12 November 2010 – Critical Software Technologies has secured a contract to be the principal independent software tester for the EarthCARE (Earth Clouds, Aerosols and Radiation Explorer) project, a joint European-Japanese space mission which is due for launch in 2013.

First designed and constructed in 2009, the aim of the EarthCARE spacecraft mission is to improve scientists’ understanding of the cloud, radiative and aerosol processes that affect Earth’s climate.

Critical Software will independently verify and validate the on-board software that goes into creating this hugely complex system designed to create a successful space mission. Critical will be predominantly responsible for identifying areas with increased complexity and criticality and then ensuring that the software developed meets the stated requirements and is implemented correctly.

“We’re pleased to be involved in a mission that will give scientists valuable information about our planet, but critical systems on board the spacecraft will be vital to its success. Software on board satellites has the potential to be extremely complex, which is at odds with the necessity for it to also be extremely reliable.

“Failure of critical software can have catastrophic consequences, and it is clearly vital to have well-tested reliable software on theunmanned satellites orbiting over all of us,” says Brian Luff, chairman Critical Software Technologies.

Critical Software is certified in Research, Development and Innovation (NP 4457:2007)

The NP 4457:2007 (Portuguese Norm for the Research, Development and Innovation) defines the requirements for R&D as well as Innovation Management Systems that would drive organizations towards the development and implementation of a R&D and Innovation Policy that could help raise the levels of efficiency and effectiveness within the innovation context. All normative requirements are applicable to an organization that has R&D activities, regardless of the size, complexity or business sector. The NP 4457 is applicable to any organization (goods and services); processes; organization; and marketing; or even a combination of these.

“Among the main advantages of having R&D and Innovation practices are the controlled and periodic stimulation and collection of innovative ideas that emerge from the various micro and macro environments as well as its analysis and respective development. Considering the current global recession, the success of any business relies, a great deal, on the existence of a structured organization, consolidated processes and use of proven best practices,” states José Gonçalo Silva, Quality Director of Critical Software.

Critical Software’s IMS was already certified ISO 9001:2008 TickIT, EN 9100:2003 and 9006 and CMMI-Dev ML5, not to mention other best practices that are being followed by the company, such as the PMBoK for Project and Portfolio Management and Six Sigma for Quality Control.

“We were not primarily looking for the certificate but instead to continue our endeavor in raising of the quality levels in our services and products. This certification happened naturally as a result of a strong and strategic commitment in R&D and innovation policy that has been in place for some years now. Still, the preparation for the NP 4457 certification helped us consolidate some of the requirements that were already in place and close some gaps that existed in our IMS”, says José Gonçalo Silva.