The ESA Alert System's main aim is the prompt interchange of information on failures and problems of general concern among the participants to the system, with the involvement of the manufacturer of affected items. It covers failures and problems having negative impacts upon the performance of space systems, which are detected at any stage of the space system life cycle, starting from design, up to operations and ending at withdrawal from service.
Alert System Tool
The ESA Alert System Tool is a web-based tool which:
- Provides information on the ESA Alert System
- Stores and distributes ESA Alerts among participants
- Archives relevant information related to ESA Alerts
The overall usage of the Alert system is described in the ESA Alert System Procedure which is available here for download.
The ESA Alert System Tool consists of a public area and a restricted area.
The Public Area, freely accessible, provides the possibility to login, provide general feedbacks, request an access to the restricted area and the following set of general information:
- Document section (ESA Alert procedure, Workflow, Feedback Form, User Manual);
- Contact info of the ESA Alert Focal Point;
- A List of the external members registered to the Alert system (Alert Coordinators);
- Links to other web pages.
The restricted area: Containing all ESA Alerts services and data:
- Alerts List View
- Alerts Search Page
- New Alert Initializaion Form
- Feedback Form
- Comment & Suggestion Form
Access to the restricted Area is granted by ESA on user request
An Alert is a report to provide a prompt warning concerning failures and problems that may affect more than one user, or may recur in other projects or circumstances, if no preventive actions are taken.
The Alert report describes the observed failure/problem, its cause, the actions to be taken to correct it and to prevent its recurrence, as well as comments from the manufacturer of the affected item.Every participant shall take into account that ESA Alerts have to be:
- limited to observed and proven facts
- without opinions or speculations
The ESA Process to generate a new Alert consists of the following steps:
Initialisation of an Alert.
New inputs received by the ESA alert Focal Point are analyzed and a decision on the issuing of an alert is made. The manufacturer is contacted and provided with a draft version of the Alert.
ESA Alerts are issued only when all the following criteria are met:
- The item with the observed failure or problem has multiple applications, which may have implications for more than one project, thus requiring prompt action.
- The failure/problem has occurred in the application of an item within its specified design and usage limitations. However, an Alert may be raised where failures/problems due to usage within reasonably expected limits of performance occur, where these limits have not been specified precisely.
- A preliminary investigation has provided sufficient evidence of the root cause of the failure/problem.
- The failure/problem is confirmed not to be an isolated case or of a random nature.
- Complete and unambiguous traceability of all the affected items to the impacted users is not possible.
Release of an ESA Alert
After receiving a formal reply from the Manufacturer with confirmation of the problem and sufficient evidences of the implementation of relevant corrective actions, an alert is readied for release.
Notification of ESA Alerts
When a new ESA Alert is released, all participants will be notified by an e-mail, containing title, number and link into the EAS tool.
Follow-up of manufacturer and user actions
The ESA Alert Focal Point follows-up the actions identified by the EAC, and provide advice for their close-out.
Processing of Alert Feedback
All ESA Alert System participants are expected and must be committed to provide prompt feedback to the EAFP on:
- the validity and accuracy of the information contained in an ESA Alert;
- the effectiveness of recommended actions to the user;
- suggestions for alternative / complementary actions to correct the problem/failure.
For this purpose, the feedback form on the ESA Alert System Tool is to be used.
The EAFP and Technical Experts, as relevant, screen the feedback information on ESA Alerts, and advise the ESA Alert Committee on the need for any further manufacturer consultation, and/or Alert revision.
The EAC Chairman can decide the appropriate course of action, which may include:
- Revision of the ESA Alert;
- Withdrawal of the ESA Alert.