Kompetenz: Funktionale Sicherheit (Safety), Fraunhofer IESE
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SPES_XT: Software Platform Embedded Systems “XT”

In the BMBF-funded research project SPES_XT (Software Platform Embedded System “XT”), model-based safety engineering methods were developed.

While the complexity of embedded systems is increasing rapidly, the innovation cycles are becoming ever shorter. In the meantime, this trend can also be increasingly found for safety-relevant applications. To master this system complexity, the development methodology used has continuously evolved in the last decades and has undergone various paradigm shifts, such as the recent introduction of model-based development. In contrast to this, safety engineers in practice still need to rely on methods that have not changed significantly since their introduction almost 50 years ago, and which are hardly suitable for mastering the complexity of modern software-intensive systems efficiently. It therefore comes as no surprise that safety engineers are less and less able to keep up with the speed of development in their company.

For this reason, the BMBF-funded research project SPES_XT (Software Platform Embedded Systems “XT”) took up this challenge in the context of one of six so-called engineering challenges. Under the scientific leadership of Fraunhofer IESE, model-based safety engineering methods were developed to enable efficient modular and thus reusable safety cases. To do so, the safety case methods were seamlessly integrated into a model-based development methodology. The first results of the project already enabled the specification and analysis of modular safety analyses, safety concepts, and safety cases in commercial modeling tools in a fully integrated manner. The implemented modularization concepts reduce complexity and increase reusability. In addition, the seamless integration into model-based development enables a high degree of automation, such as tool-based consistency checks or the semi-automated generation of safety models. With these measures, the efficiency of safety engineering can be increased significantly.

The core of these results is the “Open Safety Model – OSM”. This means that the approaches developed in the project are not limited to single tools, but rather allow the combination of different safety case methods based on different tools. For example, FMEAs (Failure Mode and Effects Analyses) can be easily composed with fault trees to form an integrated system analysis, which in turn is seamlessly connected to a model-based safety concept and a requirements database. Even non-model-based tools can be linked to the Open Safety Model in order to take advantage of the benefits of model-based development. As this is an open platform, tool manufacturers and users can connect their own tools and extend the approach, so that the benefits of model-based approaches are available to safety engineers in practice as quickly and as maturely as possible.

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