Software Technology for Implementing Reusable, Distributed Control Systems

  • Bonnie S. Heck
  • Linda M. Wills
  • George J. Vachtsevanos
Part of the Intelligent Systems, Control, and Automation: Science and Engineering book series (ISCA, volume 39)

Control systems such as those used in satellites, spacecraft, automobiles, chemical processing plants, and manufacturing rely heavily on the software that is used to implement them. In fact, engineers at Boeing Co. and Honeywell Inc. have estimated that 60–80% of the development of a complex control system is the software development effort, while only 20–40% is the actual control system design. The software effort includes programming individual software modules as well as writing code for communications between comnponents. Much of the software development time is spent on making the software stable and reliable, such as tracing possible hazard conditions and inserting software fault protection methods. When the operation of a control system is highly critical due to human safety factors or the high cost of failure in damaged capital or products, the software designers must expend extra effort to validate and verify their software before it can be released. In flight-critical operations, validation and verification are part of the flight certification process.

Many new software technologies exist that can facilitate the development and deployment of complex control systems. For example, component-based architectures [1, 2] promote code reuse, thereby decreasing development and validation time. Moreover, these architectures encourage flexible “plug-and-play” extensibility and evolution of systems. Distributed object computing allows heterogeneous components to interoperate across diverse platforms and network protocols [3, 4]. Open standards for software mean that products from different vendors can interoperate transparently to the user. New advances are being made to enable dynamic reconfiguration and evolution of systems while they are still running [5, 6]. New communication technologies are being developed to allow networked embedded devices to connect to each other and to self-organize [7].


Software Technology Object Management Group Distribute Control System Server Object Object Request Broker 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bonnie S. Heck
    • 1
  • Linda M. Wills
    • 1
  • George J. Vachtsevanos
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Electrical & Computer EngineeringGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA

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