Our Code has Affected Millions... in a Good Way!

Posted by Diana Antão

During the last twenty years, we have had the opportunity to work on many exciting projects. Millions of lines of code we’ve written have affected the everyday lives of millions of people and we’ve been fortunate to create ground-breaking pieces of engineering. Our tech has made the world a safer place and we’ve enjoyed projects that have taken us to places we’d never imagined going.

Selecting the most memorable projects was not an easy task, but we gathered ten that sure do make us feel proud!

 

Our software went to mars to help scientists uncover the Red Planet’s secrets

The ExoMars-TGO spacecraft helped to broaden the world’s scientific understanding of Mars. We helped design, develop and validate the central software for the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO).

As one of the main components of this mission, the TGO made a detailed inventory of Mars’ atmospheric gases. The TGO also serves as a data relay for the nest ExoMars mission, comprising a rover and a scientific surface platform.

 

We helped to make your train journey safer

By working with Alstom Transport, a worldwide leader in rail transport, we assisted with the development of a pioneering new system designed to help railway operators accurately monitor stock integrity automatically without taking trains off the track. Alstom Transport’s TrainScannerTM has helped raise safety levels and allows for more cost-effective and efficient planning of maintenance activities.

 

We’re part of one of the biggest IoT projects ever

At the end of 2016, the UK smart meter network went live. As a key partner, we played a significant role in the implementation of the programme alongside Capita, BT, CGI, Telefonica and Arqiva. The UK government is aiming to install 53m smart meters by 2020. This makes the country’s smart metering project one of the biggest IoT projects in the world. We’re delighted to be part of it, with our software helping smart meter communications across the national network.

 

We are helping to develop and test software heading for the Sun

The Solar Orbiter mission aims to find out how our closest star creates and controls the heliosphere, measuring solar wind plasma, fields, waves and energetic particles. Collecting data as close to the Sun as possible ensures that data is as accurate as it can be.

To be launched in October of 2018, ESA’s next-generation sun explorer is the result of a joint collaboration with NASA. CRITICAL Software is working with Airbus Defence & Space UK on the specification, design, development and testing, as well as the overall qualification, of the central flight software in this spacecraft.

 

We assessed Shanghai’s new people mover

We partnered with Digital Rail Limited to conduct the independent safety assessment of the vehicles, track system and interfaces of the Shanghai Metro Line 8 Phase III Automated People Mover. These vehicles are fully automated and able to cope with the demands of transporting millions of passengers each year. Our assessment covered project plans, specifications, design, tests and supplied products, as well as the installation, commissioning and operation of the vehicles, the infrastructure and the interfaces that communicate with other systems.

 

Our space-tested tech is making cars safer

Software we’ve used in several European Space Agency missions is now improving the safety standards of cars. This software, designed for testing how computers onboard spacecraft react to cosmic radiation, proved just the tool for ensuring that computers controlling car dashboard displays also operate correctly. Our tech was also extended to help guarantee faultless performance of safety-critical car functions, like brake system.

 

We developed a whole-genome clinical decision support system

In co-operation with Coimbra Genomics, we developed a system that links genomic knowledge and medical practice. This new technology expands how genetic information is used in healthcare, encouraging a more individualistic approach to medicine. Now, a doctor can request specific genetic data as easily as undertaking a blood analysis. Better still, for patients with their genome already sequenced, a doctor doesn’t need to request a new sample because the system already stores such information. The innovative concept was awarded second place at the EU SMW eHealth Competition.

 

We developed the 112-emergency number support system

We developed a comprehensive platform to support the ‘112’ European emergency number, available to all European citizens, helping them to reach emergency services in all member states. The system can pre-answer and route calls to different agencies, track and record contacts and emergency events, utilise Interactive Voice Response systems (IVR), and collects statistical information on service activity. Plus, thanks to geo-location and caller ID, irrespective of whether 112 or another national emergency number is used, all calls are appropriately answered and handled, free of charge.

 

We helped create the most advanced telescope in the world

We helped test the world’s biggest ‘eye on the sky’, the most advanced telescope of its kind, designed by ESO (European Southern Observatory) to address some of the greatest scientific challenges of our time. These include the search for extrasolar planets similar to Earth, measuring the properties of the first galaxies and stars, and understanding the nature of dark matter and dark energy. We handled the important process of Independent Software Validation and Verification (ISV&V). Our services supported Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC) during the manufacture of some of the most critical structures and systems involved in the construction and assembly of this huge telescope.

 

We developed tools for scientists monitoring desertification

We built a suite of tools to help scientists trying to combat desertification. We were responsible for ‘Work Package 7’ within the MELODIES project, with the goal of creating a service of tools and products that would identify key environmental indicators of desertification. The service, developed in partnership with CERENA/IST and CSIC, will support countries in fulfilling their reporting obligations. The tools, designed for and operated within a distributed computing environment, use a variety of open data streams, including Earth observation data and climatic data, to provide on-demand maps for requested areas and time periods.

 

We can’t wait to see what projects the next twenty years will deliver to us. Meanwhile, do you have a favourite from our list?