Electronic Measure and Test Unit 53
Task 4 (P4)
A plan that clearly details the tests that will
be performed
What to test
How to test (step by step)
How often to test
Strict outline of what to do
Specifies the correct method
States what measurement value to expect
Eliminate discrepancies
Ensures consistency and validity
The flight system software on the Mars Climate Orbiter was
written to take thrust instructions using the metric unit
Newtons(N), while the software on the ground that generated
those instructions used the Imperial measure pound force(lbf).
This mistake could have been avoided by carrying out
additional tests, and comparing the results.
"The problem here was not the
error, it was the failure of
NASA's systems engineering,
and the checks and balances in
our processes to detect the
error. That's why we lost the
Imagine you are an Electronics company manager
You have product specification to meet. For
example a function generator, the peak voltage
must be within validity eg 5%
You need some way of ensuring that the test
carried out gets the results to meet the
You have a group of test engineers. How can you
ensure they get valid and consistent
measurements every time?
Keywords - Specification , calibration, validity, consistency
Define Validity and consistency
Explain why both are important parameters when taking
Explain what a test specification is
Why is a test specification important in measurement
Use one of the Tasks in P3 as an example to showcase this
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