Safety and Mission Assurance

We provide full life-cycle S&MA services for development, acquisition, manufacturing, testing, and integration of mission-critical systems including space lift, satellite, and ground assets.

Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA)

ARES is a leading expert in developing Probabilistic Risk Assessments (PRA). Our first PRAs were performed as part of nuclear facility risk assessments, and our team translated these techniques to support human spaceflight, science missions, ground facility operations, and missile defense applications. ARES has led and supported some of the largest and most complex PRAs ever developed for space flight programs. For example, we supported the development of the Space Shuttle and ISS PRAs, and continue to maintain the ISS PRA today, spanning over 15 years of support. ARES is currently using our PRA experience to develop the Loss of Crew and Loss of Mission estimates for NASA Commercial Crew Programs, providing one of the first LOC/LOM certifications for the agency. ARES also provides PRA support for our Nation’s Defense programs, including the Ground-based Midcourse Defense element of the Missile Defense System and weapon system safety assessments for F-15/F-16 fighters and the B-2A bomber.

Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center

System Safety

ARES works extensively within the requirements framework of NASA’s systems safety planning requirements documents, 8715.3C and 8715.7A in supporting the planning and definition of safety requirements for NASA programs and projects. ARES’ System Safety Engineers design, implement, and manage system safety programs for a variety of NASA programs and projects. This includes System Safety support to human spaceflight, in-space, and ground systems. Our team of engineers participates in the requirements development, critical design, assembly and integration, launch campaign processes, and formal verification of all safety hazard and controls. We utilize our expertise to support the human certification of launch systems including Commercial Crew and the Artemis programs.

Reliability Analysis

ARES provides reliability, availability, maintainability, and supportability (RAMS) support to a wide variety of NASA programs to assure that the system designs meet all applicable lifetime requirements. Our reliability engineers conduct Failure Modes and Effects, Fault Tree, Electrical Part Stress, Limited Life Items, Worst Case, System Availability and Reliability analyses using block diagrams, Monte Carlo simulations, and other related techniques. Our RMA team monitors and tracks anomalous range equipment behavior and long-term reliability assessment of all ground systems at the Eastern and Western ranges to ensure a green range for all launch and aircraft activities for the Space Force. Our leadership also currently serves on the management committee for the Reliability, Availability, and Maintainability Symposium (RAMS).

MDA Interceptor, Fort Greely Alaska

Institutional Safety

Our engineering personnel support pressure vessels and systems (PVS) programs, providing for the test, inspection, certification, and recertification of ground-based pressure vessels and pressurized systems, including the coordination and execution of nondestructive examinations utilizing qualified vendors/suppliers. ARES provides support for the monitoring and inspecting of Lifting Devices and Equipment (LDE) such as cranes, gantry cranes, hoists, mobile cranes, hydra-sets, load cells, slings, structural slings, sling assemblies, and miscellaneous lifting rigging hardware and components. We monitor critical lifts and handling of PCH ensuring each move/lift is completed in accordance with the prescribed lift-plan, task requirements, approved and certified equipment and operators, pre-task coordination and briefings, safety and quality sign-offs for prerequisites and test or inspection points, and post-lift/task debriefs. ARES also provides safety oversight the Missile Assembly Building, including roll transfers, shroud removals, ordnance disconnection, inspection, payload removal and shipping.

Quality Engineering and Assurance

ARES provides Quality Engineering and Assurance services to in-space science missions ground-based assets interfacing and assisting engineering in the selection, procurement, receiving, and the proper use of parts and materials in flight programs and ground support equipment. We perform and support critical and special process inspection and verification, witness testing and qualification of flight hardware and digital electronics, and support and monitor parts, components, and system environmental test and verification. ARES provides mission assurance during project formulation, concept definition, and throughout all life-cycle phases including design and development, production, test, integration, launch, and mission operations. Our quality engineers are responsible for providing support in the development, implementation, and audit of mission assurance requirements through independent surveillance, audit, review, and assessment of the full spectrum of mission development activities.

Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center
Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center

Range Safety

ARES system safety personnel support Range Safety efforts at Wallops Flight Facility Range, Vandenburg Space Force Base, Patrick Space Force Base, and the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station to ensure mission success, protection of the public, workforce, and property during range operations associated with flight activities. Our team supports pre-launch and launch activities including review and approval of hazardous procedures, perform safety audits, monitor hazardous pre-launch activities, track and close out all hazard control verification items. We support development and execution of flight safety reviews, risk analysis briefings, preparation Flight Safety Plans (FSP), and Flight Safety Data Package (FSDP). ARES safety engineers witness hazardous operations and pathfinder activities to verify compliance with policies and procedures, and report safety anomalies and issues. We perform site surveys on range and test sites conducting explosives siting assessments, pre-operational ordnance management, radio frequency (RF) analysis, and quantity distance arc analysis. We also directly interfaced with the Eastern Range, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and NASA to assess range safety requirements and range readiness in support of the Artemis I mission and in preparation for all future missions.

Safety Information Systems

ARES bridges our S&MA and IT expertise to develop safety information systems designed to improve the collection, analysis, and dissemination of safety information across programs and projects. This includes the effectiveness of our team and the impact that S&MA has on the design and operations of space flight hardware and software. For example, ARES designed the GSFC Meta System, which provides integrated safety data to over 2,000 users across NASA. Since 2014, ARES has been entrusted with the management of the NASA Safety Reporting System (NSRS), which provides a critically independent and anonymous path for the NASA workforce to report institutional or flight safety risks to the NASA Safety Center within the NASA Office of Safety and Mission Assurance.  ARES has the in-house expertise to custom design and operate turn-key anonymous safety reporting capabilities for the government and private sector.

Vacuum Facility 5 (VF5) is a 15-foot diameter thermal vacuum facility located at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.
Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center

Crew Safety

As a subcontractor to ManTech on the Human Space Flight Support (HSFS) contract at Patrick Space Force Base, we support the 45th Space Wing Detachment 3. ARES personnel provide the liaison between NASA and the Department of Defense (DoD) to coordinate DoD nominal and contingency support for current and future NASA and Commercial Crew Programs (CCPs) human space flight programs. ARES works alongside DoD personnel to provide technical assistance, analysis, recommendations, observations, and products in direct support to unit mission priorities and objectives. We also developed and conduct Safety Hazardous Operations procedures, personnel training, and real-time water rescue and recovery activities.

Software Assurance

ARES has led software assurance services for multi-billion-dollar science, research, and ballistic missile defense programs. As a leading provider of safety and mission assurance services to the federal government, ARES provides expertise in system safety, static code analysis, reliability, failure modes and effects analysis, and hazard analysis. ARES software assurance engineers evaluate software requirements, design, and code for completeness, and robustness ensuring operational readiness and mission effectiveness verifying measures to prevent accidents, nominal and off-nominal operations of critical system functions, and minimize their effects are incorporated in system designs. “Test like you fly” is critical to our approach, integrating our holistic risk management techniques to minimize the risk of unexpected environment conditions and providing assurance services across the system and software development lifecycle.