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Independent Software Validation

Terma's lead in pioneering and building Software Validation Facilities and executing Independent Software Validations stems from many years of participation in joint European space projects. With this insight, it becomes possible to expose mission-critical software to carefully selected situations and scenarios that will determine its robustness and reliability.

Smart 1 (image courtesy: ESA)

Terma has participated in the development of the independent verification and validation concepts and in the construction of the corresponding software validation facility. This includes contribution to the ESTEC ISVV Guide.

Terma has conducted independent verification and validation on a number of missions and projects, including:

  • XMM
  • Envisat
  • Rosetta
  • Smart 1
  • Herchel/Planck (the CDMU software). 

Today more than ever, it is of crucial importance to thoroughly test embedded software and to verify that it will perform as expected prior to launching the spacecraft. The importance of rigorous validation increases as more and more functions are implemented in the control software of the satellites.

Therefore, a final test by an independent organization is indispensable in ensuring the correct performance of the software and to ascertain that the software will not jeopardize the mission or cause unacceptable spacecraft behavior. This has to cover both static analysis of the software and dynamic test of time-critical situations. 

Envisat (image courtesy: ESA)

XMM (image courtesy: ESA)

The SVF includes an extensive tool kit to simulate the surrounding environment. Also included are tools for configuration management, patch preparation for maintenance, and the associated software development environment.

In the SVF, the software is embedded in dynamic system simulations allowing the realistic reproduction of a flight scenario. The software is subsequently executed to substantiate that no failures occur that would be detrimental to an acceptable system performance.

Terma is a specialist and market leader in providing tools for software validation and verification. Thus, Terma has developed the necessary SVF for a range of ESA satellite projects. Terma pioneered the development of the methodology that is now standard for all ESA science and Earth observation missions.