July 5, 2023

Exploring Nominal's Comprehensive Testing Approach: And How You Can Use It Too

In today's fast-paced and competitive digital landscape, ensuring the quality and reliability of software systems is paramount. Testing plays a crucial role in achieving this goal by identifying defects, verifying functionality, and validating system performance. In this blog post, we will explore the significance of Verification and Validation (V&V) in software testing, followed by an overview of Nominal's comprehensive testing approach, including unit, integration, system and user testing, and finally how this same testing approach can be used to test the design of satellites and other complex systems.

Understanding Verification and Validation (V&V):

Verification and Validation are two essential components of the software testing process. While these terms are often used interchangeably, they have distinct meanings.

  • Verification focuses on evaluating the software throughout the development lifecycle to ensure that it adheres to its specified requirements. It involves activities like code inspections, walkthroughs, and static analysis. Verification answers the question, "Are we building the software right?"
  • Validation, on the other hand, focuses on evaluating the final product to ensure that it meets the user's requirements and expectations. It involves dynamic testing, including functional testing, performance testing, and usability testing. Validation answers the question, "Are we building the right software?"

Nominal's Testing Approach:

At Nominal, we prioritise testing and quality control to deliver robust and reliable software solutions. Our testing approach encompasses multiple levels of testing to address different aspects of the software system. Here's a brief overview of our testing process:

  • Unit Testing: At Nominal, our testing process begins with unit testing, which involves meticulously examining the individual components, or units, of our backend architecture. The primary objective of unit testing is to verify the correctness and proper functioning of these components. We pay special attention to ensuring the validity and reliability of the mathematical models that serve as the fundamental building blocks of our simulation.
An example of the console output of the results of a unit test. Integration test results are similar to unit tests.

  • Integration Testing: Integration testing verifies the interactions between different components of the software system. We conduct thorough integrated testing to identify any issues that may arise when individual components interact with each other. This type of testing ensures smooth data flow, compatibility, and proper functionality across the integrated system.
  • System Testing: System testing is performed on the complete software system to evaluate its compliance with functional and non-functional requirements. This phase involves rigorous testing scenarios to verify the system's behaviour under various conditions, such as stress testing, security testing, and scalability testing. System testing allows us to ensure that the software performs optimally and meets the desired quality standards.
  • User Testing: We firmly believe that user-centric testing is vital to building successful software. Our user testing phase involves gathering feedback and insights directly from end-users to understand their needs, expectations, and pain points. This feedback helps us refine the software and ensure it aligns with user requirements.

Continuous Improvement and Quality Control:

At Nominal, we are committed to continuous improvement and maintaining high-quality standards throughout the software development lifecycle. We emphasize the following principles to enhance our testing and quality control practices:

  • Test Automation: We leverage test automation tools and frameworks to streamline the testing process, increase efficiency, and minimize human error. Automation enables us to execute repetitive tests, regression tests, and performance tests, resulting in faster feedback cycles and improved accuracy.
  • Test Coverage and Traceability: We maintain comprehensive test coverage by mapping test cases to specific requirements and functionalities. This ensures that all critical areas of the software are thoroughly tested, and potential risks are mitigated effectively. Test coverage analysis helps us identify any gaps in testing and facilitates targeted improvements.
  • Agile Testing: We embrace an agile development methodology, which integrates testing into the development process from the early stages. This iterative approach allows us to continuously test and validate the software, promoting early defect detection and rapid feedback incorporation.

Using Nominal to Test Spacecraft

Nominal has created a robust framework for efficiently ensuring that its software represents valid digital twinning of complex systems. Users of Nominal can leverage this same framework to efficiently and automatically test the functionality of systems against requirements, promising to drastically increase the speed of design and verification workflows.


In today's software-driven world, rigorous testing and quality control are imperative to ensure the reliability and success of software systems. Verification and Validation (V&V) play a vital role in this process, with each serving a distinct purpose. At Nominal, our comprehensive testing approach, encompassing unit, integration, system, and user testing, help us deliver high-quality software that meets user requirements and exceeds expectations. By embracing continuous improvement and adhering to best practices, we strive to provide reliable and robust solutions to our clients.