Coverity analyzes 2 million lines of mission-critical flight software for defects on Curiosity Mars Rover

SAN FRANCISCO, 24 Aug. 2012. NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) software developers working on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover used Coverity technology to test and ensure the reliability of mission-critical flight software that guided Curiosity’s landing on Mars.

Curiosity
Curiosity

SAN FRANCISCO, 24 Aug. 2012. NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) software developers working on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover used Coverity technology to analyze and ensure the reliability of mission-critical flight software that guided Curiosity’s landing on Mars.

NASA JPL developers needed to find and fix every software defect in the rover’s software before launch. They used Coverity to test more than 2 million lines of code in the software that controls the flight and onboard functions of the Curiosity rover.

“Given the mission-critical nature of Curiosity, the software powering the rover must be reliable and free of software defects. A single defect could mean the difference between success and failure of the $2.5 billion NASA mission and impair its ability to assess the possibility of life on Mars,” admits a company representative.

NASA JPL has used static analysis as a key part of the code review process, from the inception of the NASA Mars Science Laboratory mission, to ensure the success of one of the most complex missions ever undertaken by NASA and the reliability of one of the most complex machines ever sent into space.

"The use of Coverity technology in mission-critical projects with zero tolerance for error is a testament to our unique ability to quickly detect unpredictable and traditionally hard to spot software defects," says Jennifer Johnson, vice president of marketing at Coverity.

The Coverity Static Analysis development testing solution leverages analysis techniques for finding and eliminating code defects early in the software-development life cycle, as the code is being written, when they are the easiest and least expensive to find and fix.

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