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Testing of Safety Critical Control Systems



14 Nov 2012 (Updated )

This is a presentation on testing of safety critical control systems.

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This is a presentation on testing of safety critical control systems updated with DO178C and DO331 parts. I have added a few slides on ISO 26262 comparing it with DO178. I have added a dormant error which was found after 12 years in a a flight control system. I have now added a section on formal methods.
An insight into the fascinating field of Model Based testing of Safety Critical Control Systems
An insight into the mistakes we make – again and again
A set of Best Practices in this field gleaned from the use of this type of testing on Aircraft Programs in India

• Safety Critical Control Systems – Brief Overview
• What are the mistakes we normally make? – a look at
the errors made in the various programs since 1988
• DO178B, DO178C and DO331 standard overview. How
are other standards related.
• What are these Models? – a look at how they function
– Algorithms for implementing them
• How do we test these blocks? – a block by block
• What are functional coverage metrics
• Formal Methods in Flight Controls – An experimental approach
• Best Practices


This file inspired Safety Critical Control Elements Examples and Exploring Design Verifier.

MATLAB release MATLAB 7.13 (R2011b)
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Comments and Ratings (2)
26 Apr 2016 Manuel Bejar

Thank you very much for the availability of this excellent material. It will help us in developing a course devoted to critical aeronautical systems that is included in a master degree in computer science . More precisely, the material will be used as an introductory basis prior to presenting the application of DO-178C / DO-331 methodology according to the set of tools given by Mathworks (Simulink Design Verifier, etc.).

18 Aug 2013 Richard Vance

An excellent compilation!

You have shown the lack of focus on cost effective testing. That being the unit testing of algorithms should beat up the algorithms (assume all data values +-infinity to verify goodness. It is too expensive to find these faults in system testing. This presentation did a great service in presenting the objectives by phase and revealing a very weak design and development phase and really most of the objectives focused on verification (by test). You don't build a bridge then test it.. Its too late in the cycle. We need a far more rigorous in-development simulation and test program.. Kudos to developers that find their own weakness. Let's make sure the bridge is not just good but robust before building it.

02 Aug 2013 1.2

I have corrected the slides based on comments received. I have included a new error that was detected. The reference section is updated. I have added a few slides on other safety standards.

01 Apr 2014 1.3

I have added a few more slides on a dormant error and tools of trade.

08 Sep 2014 1.4

I have added a new error that we found (invented?) recently. This is in a washout filter. I have added some slides on the functional requirements coverage metrics. I have cleaned up the presentation and provided a new look.

29 Jun 2015 1.5

I have added a new section on Formal Methods in Flight Controls.

01 Jul 2015 1.5

I have added a new section on Formal Methods in Flight Controls.

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