Ariane 5 Case Study

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In the year 1996, June 4th The European Space Agency has launched a rocket and named it as Ariane 5, They spent 10 years to build it and the development cost was $7 billion, Unfortunately Ariane 5 got exploded in just 40 seconds after its launch from Kourou, French Guiana. One of the Investigation Board has found that the explosion was due to a software error that occurred in self-contained navigation system which automatically provides vehicle position, heading, and velocity, termed as Inertial Reference System (IRS) or Inertial Navigation System (INS). Software Ethics that have been violated: ¬ Public-Requirements phase: Research indicates that there was a software computation within IRS that has been used before the takeoff which is not really needed, Initially the requirements were not accurate. Software shouldn’t run in critical systems unless it is needed, this violates the 1st principle of software ethics ¬ Coming to testing, the device should not only be tested in terms of what it should do but also what it should not do, it must be approved only if it has a belief…show more content…
One IRS would be active while other would be in "hot" stand-by, and if the On-Board Computer (OBC) detects that the active IRS has failed it immediately switches to the other one, if this unit is functioning properly. Likewise, there are two OBCs, and several other units in the Flight Control System which are also duplicated. The nozzle deflections were commanded by the On-Board Computer (OBC) software based on data transmitted by the active IRS, at that time it did not contain proper flight data, but showed a diagnostic bit pattern of the computer that was interpreted as flight data. The reason why the active IRS did not send correct data was that the unit had declared a failure due to a software

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