Automated incorporation of upset detection mechanisms in distributed Ada systems

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

This thesis presents an automated approach to developing software that performs single event upset (SEU) detection in distributed Ada systems. Faults considered are those that fall in the single event upset (SEU) category. SEUs may cause information corruption leading to a change in program flow or causing a program to execute an infinite loop. Two techniques that detect the presence of these upsets are described. The implementation of these techniques is discussed in relation to the structure of Ada software systems and exploit the block structure of Ada.

A program has been written to automatically modify Ada application software systems to contain these upset detection mechanisms. The program, Software Modifier for Upset Detection (SMUD), requires little interactive information from a programmer and relies mainly on SMUD directives that are inserted into the application software prior to the modification process. A full description of this automated procedure is included.

The upset detection mechanisms have been incorporated into a distributed computer system model employing the MIL-STD-1553B communications protocol. Ada is used as the simulation environment to exercise and verify the protocol. The model used as a testbed for the upset detection mechanisms consists of two parts: the hardware model and the software implementation of the 1553B communications protocol. The hardware environment is described in detail, along with a discussion on the 1553B protocol. The detection techniques have been tested and verified at the high level using computer simulations. A testing methodology is also presented.