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March 23-26, 2009

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Torrance Marriott
Torrance, California

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Tutorial E Assessing Software Technology Readiness for National Security Space Programs
Length Half day
Fee $175
Time 1:00 - 4:30 P.M.
Overview A central theme of the defense acquisition process is that the technology employed in weapon system development should be “mature” before system development begins. A Technology Readiness Assessment (TRA) is a systematic, metrics-based process and an accompanying report that assesses the maturity of selected technologies, called Critical Technology Elements (CTEs,) used in weapon systems. The final TRA report, presented to the Milestone Decision Authority, describes how these CTEs were identified and provides an independent rating of their maturity.

The DoD in its TRA Deskbook does offer quite substantial help on assessing hardware technologies, but with respect to software, particularly software used in space systems, the guidance is weak and ambiguous. Since conducting TRAs on major space acquisition programs is mandatory, gaining a better insight into this essential acquisition process is very important.

Based on broad experiences stemming from the support provided to numerous programs, the tutorial’s objective is to offer tangible guidance on identifying CTEs and establishing Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) for space software, and to provide further insights into several, related dimensions of technology risk mitigation
Instructor Peter Hantos, The Aerospace Corporation
What Participants Should Expect to Learn • The participants expected to gain familiarity
- with the TRA logistics context
- with TRA stakeholders and their processes
- with the legal and compliance considerations

• The participants will learn
- to identify critical software technology elements
- to deal with hardware-software dependencies during TRL determination
- to rate the maturity of software CTEs
- to understand the difference between the TRA and customary risk management practices
Who Should Attend The tutorial is introductory in nature, targeting a broad audience. Conducting TRAs is a mandatory requirement for large Air Force acquisition programs. Consequently, Aerospace and Air Force personnel of government program offices and personnel of the competing contractors might have to support a TRA as part of their KDP review and Source Selection preparations, and Aerospace ETG personnel might be drafted in the Independent Review Panel that is conducting the TRA. There are no formal, topical pre-requisites for the class, just a basic familiarity with the system and software development process; all concepts introduced are discussed methodically, in a bottom-up fashion, in detail.

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