Verification and testing for drill control system software

We ensure that control system software from multiple vendors work as an integrated system and enable safe, efficient operations.

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Tom Arne Pedersen Tom Arne Pedersen
Product Manager HIL
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Hidden software errors, erroneous configuration parameters, and design flaws in the control system software of a drilling system affect safety and lead to downtime: Use of hardware and software from different vendors pose complex integration tasks.

We help to ensure drilling operations through the verification and testing of control system software based on hardware-in-the-loop testing (HIL). The scope of drill HIL testing is to detect hidden software errors, erroneous configuration parameters and design flaws in the drilling control system software before it is taken into use on board the rig. 

The drilling control system is tested in a virtual test bed in an HIL test lab, using sophisticated HIL simulators of the drilling equipment. For each drilling machine, our own developed HIL simulator, CyberSea, responds to the commands from the drilling control system in a realistic manner, and feedback from sensors and actuators to the control system is simulated according to the project-specific equipment. 

The control system responds as it would in real operation on board the rig, allowing functionality, failure handling capability and safety-critical software barriers to be tested systematically in a controlled environment. 

Test scope and simulation scenarios

  • Functional testing covers verification of control system functions and modes for single machines
  • Failure testing covers testing of control system failure detection and handling for single machines, failure handling for integrated machine operations and failure detection and handling for anti-collision systems 
  • Integration testing covers integrated machine operations such as trip in and trip out, sequence control modes and interlocks between different machines
  • Anti-collision testing covers testing of functionality such as preventing machines from entering other machine zones, stopping machines if other machines are entering the zone and overriding functionality are tested

CyberSea includes models of the hydraulic systems, the electrical systems, the mechanical systems, encoders and relevant sensors for all the drilling machines in the test scope. This enables efficient testing of system interfaces and integrated functionality between different vendors.

How HIL verification and testing support efficient and safe drilling operation:

  • Drill HIL testing verifies the correct functionality of the drill computer system according to rules and regulations, functional descriptions, intended use and user manuals
  • Detection of hidden software errors, erroneous configuration parameters and design flaws in the control system software
  • Avoidance of unexpected problems under software updates by testing functionality in a controlled enviroment prior to installation
  • HIL testing of drilling control systems is performed on replica hardware in a lab and does not interfere with the vessel building process or operation