A Proposed Byzantine Fault-Tolerant Voting Architecture using Time-Triggered Ethernet 2017-01-2111
Over the last couple decades, there has been a growing interest in incorporating commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technologies and open standards in the design of human-rated spacecraft. This approach is intended to reduce development and upgrade costs, lower the need for new design work, eliminate reliance on individual suppliers, and minimize schedule risk. However, it has not traditionally been possible for COTS solutions to meet the high reliability and fault tolerance requirements of systems implementing critical spacecraft functions. Byzantine faults are considered particularly dangerous to such systems because of their ability to escape traditional means of fault containment and disrupt consensus between system components. In this paper, we discuss the design of a voting protocol using Time-Triggered Ethernet capable of achieving data integrity in the presence of a single Byzantine fault. Moreover, we explore how this capability can be combined with an exact-match voting strategy to realize a fault-tolerant computer system that can be used with different COTS processor boards, operating systems, and software frameworks.