The demand for ensuring the reliability and accuracy of drilling sensor data is rapidly increasing with the rise of data analytics and automation. Proven systems engineering methodologies used in the aerospace industry offer the drilling industry a solution for assuring the reliability of sensor data and software processing of this data. This paper describes an approach for verification and validation (V&V) of sensors and systems leveraging experiences from the aerospace industry. Both oil and gas (O&G) and aerospace have high-value assets where failures can lead to significant loss of life and huge financial impacts. Commercial aviation, in particular, has achieved a remarkable improvement in safety over many decades through design standards requiring functions be precisely defined and their implementation be verified against those requirements.
Avaition industry standards, such as DO-178C for Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment Certification, acknowledge that not all aircraft systems require the same attention. The standards define a range of classification from the most critical, such as autopilots, to the least critical, such as entertainment systems. This paper describes how mapping levels and requirements from DO-178C to oil and gas can assist in the improvement of data quality to the higher standards now required in drilling operations. A range of criticality provides the ability to seek a balance of costs vs. benefits for application to drilling systems to achieve the needed data quality.