Jeff Engelberger – Business Development Manager, DRS Consolidated Controls, Inc., spoke at the ANS Connecticut Section Speaker Meeting on May 10th, 2012. His presentation, entitled “Challenges in the Development of Virtual Controls for Class 1E Safety Applications” is available here.
The use of conventional control devices such as pushbuttons, toggle switches, thumbwheels and rotary controls in a nuclear power generating station requires the allocation of a considerable amount of control panel space as well as the cost for multiple input devices and their associated wiring. Alternately, computer-based virtual controls like touch screen displays can be implemented. Virtual control panels offer significant advantages over discrete controls and can be reconfigured to match the real time context of the control task at hand. However, due to the technologies employed and the operational and developmental requirements associated with Class 1E nuclear safety systems, several challenges in the development of such a system must be addressed.