Engineering Software For Safety Critical Systems

1048 Words Oct 10th, 2016 5 Pages
Engineering software for safety critical systems can be a tough task. In all respects, it should be. The Therac-25 incidents are only examples of scenarios in which the development of safety critical software can go awry. Another example of a safety critical system might be the software that runs a nuclear power plant. Still other examples might be the fly by wire system in an avionics deployment, or the electronic parking break in an automobile. The failure of these systems can spell disaster to human life. As such, additional measures must be taken in the development of software that, if it fails, can cause loss of, or even damage to, human life. As our text tells us, safety critical software must undergo a development and testing process that is much more rigorous and time consuming than the processes used in the development and testing of other types of software. The system must be coded carefully, inspected, documented, tested, verified, and analyzed. There must be a product safety engineer assigned to the system, a hazard log implemented and risk analysis performed as core developmental processes. (Reynolds 276) The software development process should not be carried out by a single software engineer, but rather by a properly organized team that can audit, and if needed, correct one another 's work. (Reynolds 276) Also, engineers should not place too much trust and confidence in safety critical software. Doing so is one of the factors that led to the failures…
Open Document