Challenges in validating safety critical embedded systems

18 Feb

We have studied a range of smart temperature transmitter manufactured by the market leaders that includes [1], [2], [3] and concluded that the basic operation is same for smart transmitters of all makes.Figure 1 shows the functional block diagram of a smart temperature transmitter.The answer lies in the feasibility of exhaustive black box testing with inputs that covers the entire input set.We have argued over the feasibility of validating a commercial smart transmitter, by means of testing only and established our claim with the test results carried out on a commercial Off-The-Shelf Smart Temperature Transmitter.

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It may be noted that in this paper the discussion is mainly on smart temperature transmitter and our validation technique has been applied on a COTS (Commercial Off-The-Shelf) smart temperature transmitter, for which the test results have been reported.

Gopinath Karmakar, Ashutosh Kabra, Jose Joseph and R. Patil Bhabha Atomic Research Centre Mumbai, India Abstract Industries, including nuclear industries, depend on the transmitters (for monitoring process parameters) that are available in the market from reputed manufacturers.

This work aims at answering the question of how to validate and qualify a smart transmitter, containing pre-developed software (PDS) in it, for its suitability in safety-critical application when there is no access to the software development process documentation.

But, a Smart transmitter is a microprocessor or microcontroller-based system and it contains software.

Therefore, the question is how we can evaluate a smart transmitter, which contains pre-developed software in it, for its suitability in safety/safety-related application when there is neither any access to the documentation pertaining to the software development process nor to the source code?