30 Jun '14, 6pm

@Niagara_College Professor Mark Csele provides handy engineering tip: test under real conditions

@Niagara_College Professor Mark Csele provides handy engineering tip: test under real conditions

Trusting simulation (or, if you prefer, lack of testing under real conditions). I wrote the firmware for a large three-phase synchronous control system. The code performed amazingly well in the lab, and no matter what stimulus was applied, it always produced correct results. When put into operation in the field (at a very large industrial installation), it failed every 20 minutes or so, producing a massive (and dangerous) step-voltage output! I received a call from a panicked engineer on-site, and after an hour of diagnosis, I asked for a screenshot of the actual power line (which was said to be “noisy,” but we knew this ahead of time) only to be shocked at how noisy. Massive glitches appeared on the line many times larger than the AC peak and crossing zero several times, causing no end of problems. Many hours later (the middle of the morning), the software was fixed with ...

Full article: http://circuitcellar.com/ee-tips/test-under-real-conditio...

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