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27 Jun 05. Developing the ‘Safety Case’ for mobile ground terminals
UK systems and engineering technology provider Frazer-Nash Consultancy is supporting the Paradigm Consortium which is developing the Skynet 5 satellite communications system for the British Ministry of Defence.

The Skynet 5 satellites, which are due for launch in 2006 and 2007, will provide secure military satellite communications until 2018 and will eventually replace the existing Skynet 4 satellite system.

Frazer-Nash’s Skynet contract is with EADS Telecom, the world leader in secure digital radio networks.

A team from Frazer-Nash’s Bristol and Dorking sites is developing the ‘Safety Case’ for Skynet’s system of mobile ground terminals for EADS Defence and Security Systems including wheeled and tracked vehicle communication hubs and satellite dishes which British armed forces will deploy anywhere in the world.

It is a normal MOD requirement for such safety cases to be produced in support of equipment or services supplied.

As part of the same contract, Frazer-Nash is also assessing a bespoke training facility.

The ‘Safety Case’ is the output from the formal assessment and management of safety in a range of military and industrial applications throughout their project life.

“This is the management process for identifying any potential hazards associated with using the equipment,” explained Frazer-Nash Business Manager Dr Mark Dorn.

“Hazards are present in most engineering projects, and there are now legal obligations requiring that they are actively investigated, managed and mitigated.

“Frazer-Nash’s work ensures that risks in using this Skynet 5 ground equipment are identified, reduced to as low as reasonably practicable and controlled throughout the life of the equipment.

“This contract is expected to take 18 months to complete,” Mr Dorn continued. “We have begun with assessing the safety of the Skynet mobile ground training terminals, and have now started the assessment of the operational variants of the equipment.

“The safety management and assessment tasks that must be routinely carried out are defined at the outset and formalised in this Safety Management Plan.

“It’s a further application of the safety management systems which we have developed for MoD for many years.”

Frazer-Nash has experience of safety assessment for transport, aerospace, nuclear, weapons and marine applications.

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