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Aggressive Working Environment

Single Events caused by energetic particles are the premier cause of faults, errors and failures for avionic and aerospace applications.

A presentation on working environments for avionic and aerospace products

Management of Faults, Errors and Failures (including Soft Errors/Single Event Effects) at Design, Board and System Level

IROC Technologies can support the design, implementation and manufacturing flow of aerospace products. The company can provide design services, EDA tools, analysis and hardening solutions to help the design and system engineer to implement a high-quality, reliable system. IROC can help you to fulfill tough reliability requirements from the final user or system integrator.

Furthermore, IROC can provide test solutions for the manufactured design or system. Extensive reliability analysis data and test reports will help the providers prove that the reliability of their products fills the expectations of the final users.

Solutions against the Accumulation of Faults and Failures

A relatively new managerial invention for increasing the utilization of aircraft is called chain mode flights: the same aircraft being operational in the air for up to 20 hours a day. Inevitably, this intensive mode of use limits the opportunity for flight data analysis due to tight turnaround schedules at each stop-over. In fact, the only opportunity to process the accumulated aircraft flight data is after return to base, but even the concept of an operational base is becoming weakened in the struggle for maximum operational efficiency. This, by definition reduces safety, simply because the latency period for detecting and reacting to any on-board event (fault) is increased enormously.
Some on-board electronic systems are expected to continue working without interruptions, resets or power cycles, removing opportunities for Power-On-Self (PoS) Tests or offline automated diagnostic procedures. Failure and Errors accumulation can over-stress the intrinsic ability of the embedded error management procedures to correct them. As an example, standard Single Error Correction, Double Error Detection – SECDED – schemes widely used for the error management in memory components and systems are only able to safely correct one error per word.

IROC is able to provide tailored design services and tools to evaluate the probability for the faults to accumulate in the system and stronger error correction solutions to be able to mitigate the reliability-threatening issues.

Minimizing Latency of Faults and Errors

The latency period between a fault occurring and its manifestation is of crucial importance for safety management.
A spectacular and rather unfortunate example of this consideration is the Challenger shuttle disaster. In this case, although data had been monitored and recorded many times the data were not processed in real time and vital safety information was simply not available when it was needed most. Even worse, it is quite probable that the crew could have survived if the goal of the safety management system had been to actively avoid risk in real time.
Accordingly, the latency of the detection and management of errors occurring in the electronic systems of the aircraft shall be specified and implemented according to the requirements related to the response time of the systems in case of faults.

IROC can provide design- and board-level expertise to help designers minimize the detection or management latency of faults and failures.

Management of Electronic Systems Reliability in the Short and Long Term

The short-term aspects of avionics systems’ reliability concern each flight. Long term reliability is commonly expected to follow the classic “bath tub” shape.
In practice, because of factors such as wear and ageing of parts, the reliability curve is not flat during the lifetime of the product, but decreases inexorably. As with other natural systems, electronic systems are subject to degradation, aging and wear. In the absence of any error management and mitigation, their failure rate tends to increase during their operational life.

IROC provides and advise on embedded reliability management schemes and approaches in order to ensure that the electronic systems are able to fulfill the reliability expectations during the full lifetime of the product.