Systems Which Just Cannot Afford To Fail
When it comes to something as significant as life being at stake, there are systems that just cannot afford to fail.
Systems Failure turns out to be one the biggest nightmares both for the Computer Engineers as well as the users, owing to the fact that it can occur anytime and anywhere. When your computer system hangs, crashes or at most fails, the F word comes out as a reflex and you just get on with it. However, this is not the case when some super advanced version of that computer is employed in an extra-terrestrial mission, research, war or as a life-saver equipment. These systems just cannot afford to fail anytime, anywhere, anyhow.
These extraordinary systems which are the specialized high-end Computer systems working in outer space, in hospitals, in modern warfare equipments or performing some scientific analyzing and calculations are some of the most sophisticated and marvelous systems ever built by man. So let’s check out a few ones.
IN OUTER SPACE:
The systems designed for the missions out of bound of our planet have to be perfect in every sense. What I mean to say is that these systems are the ones which have to work in the most unfavorable environment. Right from the room-sized UNIVAC to the ultra compact CUROSITY, the systems deployed in the space ventures have always stood tall when it came to robustness. These systems not only have to work in zero gravity, but also have to be resilient to Cosmic Radiation and Solar Wind. For critical systems, spacecrafts use special radiation-hardened versions of current CMOS chips (hardening can be achieved by something as simple as reducing the transistor density), or they stick with good old bipolar transistor technology, which is inherently much less radiation-sensitive.
With almost an economy on stake, the space expeditions have no choice but to prepare for the worst. The systems always have some kind of a mechanism to be rebooted on-board as well as remotely from earth.
No wonder one of the reasons behind the slowing human death rate is the utilization of some of the most advanced computer systems for our healthcare and medical assistance. Most of the times, these systems act as life-savers. However if these systems malfunction or encounter a failure, they can prove to be fatal. The surgical assisting systems must be resistant to voltage fluctuations on the mains. These equipments are loaded with something called the Static Transfer Switch that is able to switch power to backup systems in case of a power failure and provide uninterrupted power supply for a few seconds while the generators are up.
These systems are more vulnerable to malware infections since most systems are not authorized to install OS security patches, which ends up as the systems running slow.
IN MODERN WAREFARE:
Right from the Fighter Jets taking off to hitting down, it’s completely a system’s job. The present day warfare systems, be it the Tracking system, the Navigation System or the Attacking system, it all goes down to developing the most robust Operating systems.
These systems use some of the most out of box OS like the QNX (real time), found in drones and tank-crushers. It wasn’t long before that a version of Solaris OS running in BOIENG 747 engine control system was questioned when the ground staff encountered troubles re-routing it. These systems are provided with best hardware and software protection in existence. Even a single bad line of code or a millimeter of hardware fault may cost millions of dollars or even may take away thousands of innocent lives.
The essence of the above mentioned facts is that there are such systems out there whose malfunction or failure might be extremely detrimental to one or all. These systems possess some highly developed and robust backup and protection, because these systems just can’t afford to fail.
Born and brought up in Gorakhpur, U.P , presently persuing my graduation at Assam University, silchar , Asam. My strength is turning technical mumbo-jumbo into easy to understand language. This is also my interest and passion and sums up what is at the heart of my ability to be the kind of technical writer you need.