Adelard ASCE Supports the MOD and BAE Systems in Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier project.
As HMS Queen Elizabeth, the first of two new massive aircraft carriers, approaches her sea trials, BAE Systems Maritime Services has been supporting the Ministry of Defence (MOD) behind the scenes to develop the vessel’s in service safety case using the latest software technology from Adelard LLP.
Having a safety case for naval ships is a regulatory requirement. However, in a departure from past creation techniques for such safety cases, MOD and the QEC Platform Authority has chosen to use the ASCE (Assurance and Safety Case Environment) software solution from Adelard. Not only will ASCE support the development of the safety case, it will also be used to maintain and communicate the safety case over the lifetime of the vessel. The first phase, started in February this year, developed a proof of concept for the use of ASCE, including development of a safety case architecture.
The fact that this first phase and proof of concept was completed in just 6 weeks is a huge achievement given the complexity of this safety case. Such a positive result has clearly laid the foundations for further phases of the safety case being developed within ASCE.
BAE Systems programme lead Paul Atkins stated "Delivery of this proof of concept within such timescales would have been inherently more difficult if it were not for Adelard's ASCE software tool. We were immensely impressed by the numerous advanced features ASCE offered and in particular its Modular Goal Structuring Notation capability. Using the Modular GSN approach allowed us to manage what would have otherwise been a hugely complex safety case architecture from day one".
Work on creating the safety case in ASCE was commissioned by MOD Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) after positive experiences of using ASCE to develop and maintain in-service safety cases for its Submarine fleet and Air Operating Centres.
The project started with Adelard's in-depth 2 day ASCE familiarisation programme attended by BAE personnel, members of DE&S Platform Authority and operational personnel from the Royal Navy. With an excellent appreciation of the software's capabilities and Adelard personnel on hand, work turned to the development of the architecture of the safety case. The architecture was created inside of ASCE and was aligned to the 13 key risk control systems of the MOD Shipping regulations for safety and environmental protection issued by the Defence Maritime Regulator.
One of the greatest challenges in maintaining the integrity of a safety case is ensuring that changes in any underlying documentation, evidential or regulatory, are reflected within the safety case. With so many documents needing to be referenced from numerous repositories ASCE will prove invaluable in removing this headache of document management. Its ability to link dynamically with document repositories across a network means documents can remain at source and under their own change control regimes yet ASCE will be privy to any of the changes.
The project is now moving into its next phase – to deliver the full safety case for HMS Queen Elizabeth when she sails to her home base, Portsmouth later this year.