Michael Mann, General Manager
When it comes to the defense and aerospace industry, there has been a significant increase in the amount of embedded software in weapons systems. And as a result, companies are now investing heavily to validate the reliability of the underlying software. The reason behind this trend is the change initiated by model-driven engineering in the software development lifecycle. “It was in 2011 that the Instruction Manual for Acquisition and Management Practice of the Weapon System Embedded Software was established by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA),” says Michael Mann, the General Manager of V-cubed Solutions, Inc. “Besides software reliability testing and validation, the manual included static validation to determine if coding rules were observed. It also mandates the dynamic validation to measure code execution rates.”
Additionally, it has become mandatory that built-in software in airliners are certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) based on DO-178B/C standard. Michigan-based V-cubed Solutionsis changing the way software testing is carried out in the aerospace arena by revolutionizing the automation of code review. According to the software-coding standard defined for each client’s project, the company applies tools for requirement based testing with measuring a variety of coverage, such as statement, branch, MC/DC, etc. “We have developed a toolchain which covers everything from static analysis of code development to the unit and integration testing for the aerospace, defense, and other industries,” says Mann.
Covering All Grounds
V-cubed Solutions’ toolchain has broad applicability and can be leveraged by not only the aerospace industry but also automotive, nuclear power plants, railways, and finance. For automotive, the company researches and develops software testing solutions that meet the requirements of ISO 26262, the international functional safety standard for road vehicles and the new emerging issues about software quality. Besides, it provides quality software solutions for financial institutions as they upgrade to the next generation of service. In the nuclear power plant space, V-cubed Solutions can deliver software solutions to ensure safe operations at nuclear power plants, carefully weighing their potential to significantly damage the environment and human life in the event of a malfunction or natural disaster. “We provide specialized tools for these industries based on our domain expertise.
Each industry has unique requirements that necessitate different methods of software development and testing,” mentions Mann. “V-cubed Solutions conducts ongoing R&D based on industry requirements to provide the best solution suitable for each industry including test automation and testing services.”
The company expands its toolchain further to deliver tools for system-level evaluation and validation. It offers quality software with maximum security options through its toolchain, which ensures the delivery of an error-free and well-synchronized final product. V-cubed Solutions’ code-based auto inspection tool, Code Inspector, provides information about possible errors in the software source code and ensures that the software complies with international standards such as MISRA and ISO 26262 for automotive software development. Code Inspector is ideal for building rule sets that align with the coding guidelines of the aerospace industry.
"We have developed a toolchain unique to the aerospace industry, which covers everything from static analysis of code development to unit and integration level testing with the software codes"
Further, the company’s tool for static code analysis, CODESCROLL SNIPER, can be used by the clients to detect run-time error. The tool performs static code analyses on the source code to improve its quality and reliability. Unlike different verification techniques, it allows the user to analyze the code automatically and can also detect overflow, division by zero, or a run-time error such as null pointer reference. V-cubed Solutions will combine CODESCROLL Code Inspector and SNIPER to create a new tool, CODESCROLL STATIC, in the first quarter of 2019.
The Code Inspector and CODESCROLL SNIPER are supported by V-cubed Solutions’ Controller Tester which has the capability to operate in various target environments. Controller Tester provides the editor for test code and test cases that enables an intuitive test design, empowering even an unskilled user to code, design, and test code design freely by just clicking a button on the UI.
Economies of Scale (V-curve)
V-cubed Solutions’ toolchain is equally supported by its validation services in the back-end. Through these services, the company provides a checklist for reviewing the software document form and the evidence documents for activity performance. In addition, V-cubed Solutions reviews the consistency between the details of each document, integrity of document details, and the possibility of validation. Mann adds, “Specialized solutions are leveraged by V-cubed Solutions to provide certification, acquisition, and other support services.” Further, the company has developed tools for testing the interoperability between systems and the standard conformity based on the tactical data link.
This service analyzes whether the software has its necessary characteristics such as the specification, function, and reliability. The third-party verification not only guarantee high-quality software through a systematic quality assurance process but also satisfy client requirements for quality assurance and help clients in obtaining the international certificate, such as DO- 178B/C and ISO 26262.
V-cubed Solutions was the first accredited international test laboratory in June 2013 for a system run by the ILAC MRA, and APLAC MRA. It can issue and circulate an internationally recognized accredited testing report through the agreement between the international accreditation bodies. This accreditation of the test lab was achieved according to the ‘additional technical requirements for the software laboratory accreditation’ first established in 2011. The accreditation has also been further recognized as the first accreditation case for a Korean private enterprise, providing an opportunity to upgrade the testing capabilities of the company.
An Exemplary Past and a Splendid Future
“Every customer has their specific needs, and we are flexible to understand their requirements and work accordingly,” informs Mann. The company delivers user-intuitive and easy-to-use solutions that require minimum support. Although V-cubed Solutions has support staff in North America, Korea, China, and Europe to assist the customers, the company ensures that the clients are self-sufficient in using the tools with its human-machine interface (HMI).
Established in 2002, V-cubed Solutions has come a long way in creating a unique niche in the software testing marketplace. The company was recognized as an enterprise affiliated research institute in 2003 and since then has obtained an NT mark, the INNO-BIZ company certificate, and 1NEP certificate for the ‘source code-based S/W testing automation tool’ NEP- 2004-077. “In 2009, we were designated as an export promising smalland medium-sized company which meant that we were capable of exporting outside the company into other markets and industries,” states Mann. Moving forward, the company aims to expand its footprint in different industries in the U.S., Europe and Asia. V-cubed Solutions continues their research in the mission critical areas such as communications, electronic devices, and security industries to produce top-flight safe, secure and quality software solutions. The company has collaborated with a partner to work on its expansion strategies in Europe in March and will be establishing itself in the energy and automotive industries. The main focus of the company is to help software developers to incorporate better safety and security measures within their code, and this will dictate V-cubed Solutions’ roadmap for the future.“We are proud that we have played a major role in bringing the software community’s attention to the importance of software quality, helping them achieve quality software with our test automation technology. Going by our successful track record in catering to the needs of the domestic customers, we are confident of conquering the global market and continuing to provide the best solutions to improve the quality and reliability of our customers’ software.”