Applying sensor integrity concepts to detect intermittent bugs in aviation software

Jason H. Rife, Hu Huang, Sam Z. Guyer

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: This paper assesses potential benefits of online integrity monitoring for aviation software. Today, aviation software safety is assessed entirely via verification and validation conducted before deployment, largely through exhaustive testing. Although software anomalies (or bugs) do occur, system fault trees do not assign fault probabilities to software components. Moreover, online signal monitoring is not generally applied to detect bugs. As software complexity increases, and as interactions between software and hardware system components become more complex, it is prudent to consider whether exhaustive preservice software testing is sufficient to maintain system safety, and whether safety analyses used for hardware components (eg, fault trees and monitoring) might be applied to software components. The contribution of this paper is to propose an architecture for online bug monitoring and quantify its potential. The proposed concept has significant potential impact for low-cost, autonomous unmanned aircraft systems, where cost drivers prohibit exhaustive preservice verification.
Published in: NAVIGATION: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 66, Number 3
Pages: 603 - 619
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