Engineers and scientists are increasingly relying on software packages developed by independent professionals or specialized firms outside of their own organizations as was usually the case three decades or more ago. Consequently, crucial questions need to be answered regarding the accuracy, validation, competence, documentation, support as well as updates of engineering scientific software packages before committing to a given product.
The following questions need to be answered before selecting a specific engineering or scientific software package:
- Is it accurate and how can this be verified?
- Is it well documented?
- Is it adequately supported (state of the art technical support as well as enhanced, more powerful and capable future versions)?
- In case of a bug or problem, can the user get prompt assistance for a fix or a work-around?
All the above questions are important, however the first one is crucial for the safety and integrity of any engineering study or design and the second one addresses a fundamental requirement for insuring adequate understanding of the subject and usage of the technical software. In other words, satisfactory engineering and scientific software must have sufficient documentation and an adequate validation report. This implies necessarily that the software producer is competent and has the necessary resources to conduct and document its software validation tests.
SES' engineers and scientists conduct their own R&D and offer advanced R&D consulting services on a continuous basis in the marketplace. This unique combination allows SES to develop and maintain state-of-the-art, industry applications-oriented software. SES' scientific publications, in the most reputable journals, are an excellent indication of how SES is viewed in the scientific community. For more than four decades now, SES has been and continues to be a leader and a pioneer in the grounding, lightning and electromagnetic interference fields. The following describes SES’ work and related documentation which are presently completed to insure that its CDEGS software complies with the most stringent requirements related to the preceding four questions with a particular emphasis on the first two.
Extensive scientific validation of the software using field tests and comparisons with analytical or published research results have been conducted for over forty years. The validation conducted by SES as well as other independent researchers is documented in hundreds of technical papers published in the most reputed international journals (consult our extensive list of Technical Publications).
Each computation module has been tested to insure that it produces the correct results for a large number of cases documented internally at SES and for several fundamental cases available to users on digital media. These cases are tested for every release of the programs and the results are validated by comparing them to the existing ones, which in turn have been continuously validated over the years using basically the following three well-documented mechanisms.