January 16, 2012

Flight and ground operating manual and constraints - E-15

Describe the product features and operating recommendations towards the final users

A. Scope

This document contains the general concepts required to prepare the operating manual for a product.

For the specific software quality manual aspect of the product, refer to the software quality section (PA 7) where the corresponding section is covered.

B. Fundamentals

The operating manual describes all the features of the product that are needed by the user to meet his need in a defined environment. It is delivered at the time of acceptance of the product and shall include recommendations for using the product in a normal and risk-free manner. This operating manual takes into account all the experience acquired during ground development tests and also the lessons learned in flight for "off-the-shelf" equipment which has already flown.

C. Typical content of the operating manual

1. Scope

This section gives the coverage of the operating manual for the product intended for flight. This product is to be integrated into a higher level assembly. This section states the subjects that are to be covered: product description, operating modes, interfaces, recommendations for integration, etc.

The proposed outline can also be used as a guide for ground equipment.

2. Applicable documents

This section lists the documents used in direct relation with the operating manual. This section includes all documents concerning: the definition of the product; the definition of the interfaces; the environments; the safety aspects; the command/control and operability aspects of the equipment. These documents shall be mentioned in the corresponding sections of the operating manual, with all the applicable sections.

3. Reference documents

The reference documents constitute the bibliography required to prepare the operating manual.

4. Safety rules

This includes all the important recommendations and the restrictions imposed concerning the product.

These elements are introduced into the operating procedures in order to avoid risks for the personnel and the equipment.

5. Description of the product and interfaces

This section defines the various functions of the product. Block diagram representations are used to identify all the links between the functions.

The characteristics of the product that are required for its integration and operation in flight and on the ground are described here (structure, mounting, connectors, grounding network, heaters, internal protections, etc.), with the required interfaces. All the command/control functions of the product are described, in particular the communication protocols with the on-board computer, the telecommand/telemetry, surveillances, protections and operating modes of the product.

Note: the product technical description document(s) may also be mentioned for this part.

6. Product utilisation phases and associated configuration

The various operating phases of the product are stated in this section. It particularly includes:

  • the tests to be carried out after storage and prior to integration,
  • the integration of the product into a higher level assembly,
  • the ground integration validation tests,
  • the operational functioning (ground and flight),
  • the maintenance, if necessary (ground and flight).


For each of these utilisation phases of the product, the operating manual states the precautions, the constraints, the configuration, the necessary inspections and the recommendations.

A detailed description is given of all the operating modes used during the tests on the ground, the launch preparation and the flight phase. The automatic functions and limitations are specified explicitly.

For operations (ground and flight), the necessary verifications (test case) and corresponding parameters (electrical power supplies, temperature, . CM/CR for mechanical equipment, etc.) that enable the correct functioning of the operational product are mentioned. The characteristics to be obtained are stated so that any anomalies in the behaviour of the product can be identified. Normal and degraded operations are described, with the monitoring of the nominal and redundant channels, the ground and flight protections and the operational constraints for normal ground and flight utilisation and in the case of an anomaly.

For all phases (on-ground or in-flight), stage-by-stage procedures for using the product are necessary. These procedures must be a part of the operating manual.

Note: all tests carried out on the product by the user are defined by procedures, and any anomalies that occur during operation are identified and processed.

7. Packaging, transport, relifing/storage, handling, cleanliness

For each theme, the measures provided for are defined in this section.

A few important points to be mentioned are:

  • the constraints concerning impacts and temperatures during transport,
  • the conditions for relifing (clean room, handling of the equipment, etc.),
  • long-term storage and the inspections/tests required on arrival of the product, on its own, on the customer's premises.


A description shall be given of the electrical configuration status of the product before any utilisation.

8. Special precautions for integrating the product

All special recommendations for the integration of the product are defined here. The precautions for protection against ESDs shall be stated here, with the appropriate recommendations.

9. Test and protection equipment

This section specifies the test tools and equipment required to verify the product.

The special tools required for correct operation that are delivered with the product are described and configuration managed.

All protection components to be removed prior to flight are specified (protection cover, etc.). The technical conditions (appearance, cleanliness, etc.) are mentioned.

10. Software aspect

See PA 7.

Activities / documentation

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